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Sheila's Posts

Check out all the posts by Sheila ~ (Owner/Author)

About Sheila Thomas

Hi, My name is Sheila and I am the Living Smart Girl. My goal is to bring everyone the latest and greatest tips and advice on fitness, healthy choices, recipes, shopping, beauty, home and garden, family and parenting, daily deals, travel, and so much more. I love fitness, but life is more than just exercise and when you visit Living Smart Girl you can connect the dots and live a well rounded life ~ the Living Smart way :)

I love working online and spend most of my day blogging, and researching new topics and tips to bring my readers.

Join me on Facebook at

Sheila Thomas

Crafting can be fun and easy with Instacraft


Crafting can be fun and easy with Instacraft

What is Instacraft you ask?   Well, it is a fun little book that is filled with super cute, surprisingly easy, fun crafts to make.   Doesn’t matter if you are a newbie crafter, or a veteran crafter, you will enjoy this book just the same.   Some of the things you can make using this book are ~ brick bookends, berry personalized stationary, faux french lockets, sweetheart sugar jars, traveling globes, takeout container lanterns, paint swatch key hooks, pantone placemats, time capsule terrariums, fond memories wrapping paper and so much more.


You can purchase the book on Amazon or you can try to win it here.

Giveaway Open to US only.   Prize ~ 1 Instacraft Book.   ~  Ends 8/20/14  @11:59 PM CST.

Enter Below ~

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl received a book to facilitate a review.   All opinions expressed are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.

4 Great Family Activities that Build Relationships While Burning Fat

Get Active: 4 Great Family Activities that Build Relationships While Burning Fat

Most parents would agree that finding time to exercise is among their most difficult problems. Between shuttling children to and from school, social activities, sports, and then trying to find time to cook, do the shopping, run errands and eek out maybe just a teensy tiny bit of free time for yourself – exercise is often at the end of the priority list.

It’s no wonder that more and more parents are overweight, unhealthy, and completely unhappy with their current situation. It’s a catch-22, as most assume that any time spent exercising is additional time away from their family, while what they really want to do is get home from work and spend time together.

The solution is an easy one. Get your family active, together!

Here are 4 simple activities that any household can do to remain healthy while building bonds with their children that last a lifetime, and – as an added bonus – teaching your children lessons in living a healthy lifestyle.

Have a Dance Party!

You can do this the old school way by just turning on some tunes and taking 15-20 minutes to dance around the house, or you can fire up some “Just Dance” on the kid’s video game system while you take turns… um… dancing! This allows some silly fun time for your and the kids, while burning calories and getting you and the family active, together.

Walk, Jog, Bike, etc.

My family goes on a walk or a bike ride around the neighborhood every night after dinner. The kids love it, and it gives us the time we need with them while keeping everyone active. Second hand bikes are cheap enough for any budget, or if you really want to be the talk of the town, take turns on some of the three wheeled bikes from Street Strider.

Turn TV Commercials into Fitness Breaks

The average 30 minute TV show has 6 minutes of commercial breaks. If you’re one of the many families that enjoys spending your down time glued to the tube, make good use of this commercial time by challenging each other to see who can do the most pushups, sit-ups, or jumping jacks in that time frame. Keep it fun by giving out prizes to family members who break their personal bests.

Take It To the Garden

Gardening is a great example of a task that works your body, while providing a great escape from stress, and rewarding your family with beautiful flowers or fresh produce. Next time you head out to the garden, bring the kids. Kids love to help in gardens as it allows them an opportunity to get dirty all while remaining amazed at the results of their hard work.

These are just a few examples that you can try at home. I’m sure if you took the time to look at your daily activities, there are plenty of times that you could include the family as well as adding a workout element. The problem isn’t staying moving, it’s getting your family moving in the first place. Once you and the family become active, it’s much harder to go back to your sedentary ways, and your kids – as well as your body – will thank you for it.

Seafood Lovers Collection #Foodie

Check out Seafood Lovers Collection

by Sheila Cooper Thomas at

Seafood Lovers Collection #Foodie @FoodiebyGlam @Foodie

My husband is a huge seafood lover and he is what inspired this Foodie collection.  I like some seafood, and dislike others.   A lot of it has to do with preparation.   I can’t eat cold shrimp, but love battered and deep fried, or grilled or pan fried shrimp.   Lobster, not a favorite of mine, but lobster bites that are battered and deep fried.. YUM!

I found these recipes to be of interest to me, and things I plan to cook for my hubby and myself.   Do you like seafood?  What is your favorite, and least favorite?   Tell me your best recipe you have ever made, and I might add it to my collection.

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl is bringing you this great sponsored post in collaboration with  #Foodie @FoodiebyGlam @Foodie

Natural Stews for your Dog


Natural Stews for your Dog

CARU is a new pet food company based in Vero Beach, Florida.  They offer healthy, natural stews made with real beef, chicken, turkey and pork.  The stews are grain free, antibiotic and hormone free and have carefully selected veggies and fruit.  Formulated without wheat, gluten, corn, soy, or animal by products and made in small batches and naturally preserved to lock in all the goodness, flavor, aroma and gravy of a homemade stew.

My dog Marshall really enjoys these stews.   Since he is a 70# dog, it would take way to many of these stews to feed him daily, so I just use them as a topper to his hard dog food.     If I was to just feed him CARU stews a day he would need at least 5 boxes for one day of feeding and that is just a bit more than this girl can afford at a retail value of $5.99 each.   If I had just a small lap dog, I might be able to justify spending that kind of money on food, but alas I just have my big guy so I will only be using these stews to add some extra flavor and goodness to his hard food.   And, he does love them.

Isn’t he a pretty boy ;)


Follow CARU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Disclosure ~  Marshall was sent yummy CARU for his review, as compensation for his Mom (me) to write about the product.  All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl and Marshall.




Workout of the Week – July 27


Workout of the Week – July 27

Do you need some help deciding what to do each week, to change things up a bit?   Every Sunday, I will post a week’s worth of exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.    If what I post isn’t enough, you can stack my weekly workouts, or use bits and pieces of each to make your own.    You can use weights, or no weights.  Up to you.   Work with what is comfortable to start with and increase as you go.  If your reps are to easy, up your weight.   You should hurt, and be struggling to get to the end of the workout each day.

I use a great fitness app to show me correct form for many exercises.  If you need help knowing how to do these check out FitnessBuddy app.

Wishing you lots of sweat, burn, and enjoyment !


M/W/F  x3  ( do this routine 3 times )

20 Plank Jacks
12 Shoulder Press
12 Hammer Curl
12 Lateral Raise
12 Bicep Curl
12 Dumbbell Rows
12 Bench Press ( either dumbbells or barbell )
12 Frontal Raise
12 Renegade Row
12 Dumbbell Shrug
20 Medicine Ball Crunch  ( can use dumbbells, kettlebells or nothing )
20 Reverse Crunch


T/Th x3 ( do this routine 3 times )

20 Jump Squats
12 Dumbbell Squats
12 Dead Lifts
12 Barbell Squats
12 Right Leg Lunge
12 Left Leg Lunge
12 Curtsey Squat  – left ( one leg behind the other and squat – like you are doing a curtsey)
12 Curtsey Squat – right
12 Single Leg Squats  – left  (with or without weight)
12 Single Leg Squats – right
12 Plie Squats
20 Heal Touch ( on floor in crunch position, bend body side to side with arms at sides and touching heels)
20 Crunches

This gives you a full body workout each week.   If you are feeling great and motivated, you can up the reps or do the full circuit 4 times instead of 3.     Check back next Sunday for the next week of workouts.



Disclaimer ~  I am not a certified professional trainer.  Please consult with your doctor before doing any exercise.  I am only sharing what I do, and what works for me.  Every person is different so work at your own pace.  If you need help, ask me.  I share my fitness regimen for free to help others. 

Weekend Giveaway Link Up – July 26

Weekend Giveaway Link Up – July 26

Love giveaway?   Enter some of the great ones here.

Running a Giveaway ?   Add it to our Weekend Giveaway Link Up.

List your giveaway on our Weekend Giveaway Link Up.  
After you enter your giveaway, please share our link up with your followers and if you like, leave us a comment.

Save Big at the Meat Department

Save Big at the Meat Department

If you are the one in the household that does the grocery shopping, you know oh to well what the prices on things are.  WAY HIGH!!   Especially meat!   I just don’t like to even look at prices because sometimes it makes me not buy things because I just can’t justify spending that kind of money on something that might not look like it’s worth it.   I generally coupon, but when it comes to buying meat, one hardly ever can find coupons for that unless it’s your local stores coupons.  (which I take advantage of).

I remember years back when my husband and I were just starting out and I would go to the store, come home and he would ask.. what did ya spend.   When I would tell him, he would be so upset.  Not really at me, but at the fact the money was gone on groceries and he never shopped so had no idea what things really cost.   It wasn’t till about 5 or 6 years ago, that he started to shop with me.  NOW he gets it!

Aside from using coupons these days, I also look for those little stickers on the meat that say  ( Reduced !! Please use right away ).
When I see this, I generally grab these packages.   They are totally fine packages of meat, but just need to be used that day or frozen, so in the freezer they go.    I got a heck of a deal on this pile of meat.    All this for under $15 .. That is a steal!!


I generally only buy steak when I can get it discounted as well.   If you look in my freezer the only stuff that does not have the pink “Reduced” tag on it is my tilapia or shrimp… LOL!   Only because I buy those in big bags from my SAMS Club.

Do you buy meat that is discounted?

Fresh Breath and Healthy Teeth for Dogs


Fresh Breath and Healthy Teeth for Dogs

My dogs are like my kids, so with that being said I worry about things like their dental health.  I know that many people out there never think to take care of their pets teeth, but I, being a pet owner for years have spent hundred of dollars on dental care for my pets.   Many times I have had a dog of mine into the vet to have teeth removed.   Not that the teeth removal had to be done due to something I didn’t do or should have done, it is just a way of life for dogs.  I had 2 little Shih Tzu’s that just had way to many teeth in their mouths.  And, because they were very stubborn they just didn’t let me brush their teeth.  Not that I would have done it all that often, but regardless I couldn’t get my fingers in their mouths.   Now, Marshall my big dog (Golden Retriever), I can do just about anything to him and he just lays there.  But, it isn’t easy brushing a dogs teeth.   That is why it is awesome when a company like Pet Safe comes out with things like these great Indigo Fresh Bones.

Did you know that good oral hygiene can add years to your pets life.   Well, I didn’t know that but now I do.   The Indigo Fresh Floss Bones are just a treat for your dog, that helps to clean their teeth and freshen their breath.    My Marshall loves them!   I am giving him 3 a week, and he knows where they are and will sit and stare at the drawer they are in.   LOL!!  Must mean he really likes them.


I was not aware of these wonderful treats and now will never be without them.   If this can help save me some money on future vet bills I am all for it.  Of course, if my dog need a vet I will never deny him of that, but in the meantime I can help keep his teeth clean and healthy with these bones.   See, he really likes them.


 Check them out on Facebook, and Twitter.


Disclaimer ~  Marshall received these great Indigo Fresh Floss bones as compensation for me (his Mom) to write a review.  All opinions are 100% that of Marhsall’s and Living Smart Girls.

$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Makobi Scribe is bringing you this Amazon Pinterest blast where one lucky reader will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to everyone and provided by Makobi Scribe. Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.

Go Crazy and Get Nakd !!


Hello Gorgeous ~  Let’s Go Crazy and get Nakd !

Now now, get your mind out of the gutter!!    Not that I have anything against what you are thinking, but I was talking about trying a new snack bar ~ Nakd.   Have you heard of them?   Well, I know I hadn’t and when I was contacted by Nakd I was intrigued and just had to give them a try.   These are not your ordinary snack bar, they are gluten, wheat and dairy free.  They are natural, little chewy bars with a unique texture and something that you might at first bite say….  what the heck is this… then after your second bite you will like what you are eating.

Naked bars are a yummy raw fruit and nut bar.  They call it “Wholefood smooshed together”.  That is really what i looks like.. LOL!
Cold-pressed, never baked, no added sugar or syrups.   Like the one I am eating now, it is Cocoa Delight and the ingredients are dates, cashews, raisins, and cocoa.

They offer a ton of flavors so there is for sure something for every tastebud.

I decided to take these with me over the 4th of July and share with some friends we were camping with.   They all picked out a different flavor and did some fun (not scripted) poses and faces to show their thoughts on Nakd.

Here they are letting you know what bar they each picked out.


Now, first bite.   LOL!!   Like I said, the first bite might throw you off a bit if you are used to eating the regular snack bars that are loaded with a ton of sugar and fake crap!  These don’t have the same shape or texture as most bars on the market today.   I love how my cousin Chrissy has that “um, not sure” look on her face.  (blonde gal).   And John is taking a tiny bite cuz he just isn’t sure what to expect.   (dark haired guy)


Such pretty girls :)


Cheers… to a new found snack bar.


Check them out on their social networks ~ Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Wanna try them for yourself ?    Enter the giveaway below to win a variety pack of 15 Nakd bars.

Giveaway open to US only, 18+.   Ends 8/15/14  @11:59pm CST


Disclosure ~ We got Nakd for this review ;) (we were sent product to review as compensation). All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.