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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 http://www.facebook.com/LivingSmartGirl

Sheila Thomas

Disney’s Tomorrowland Movie Review

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl was given movie passes to preview Tomorrowland.
All opinions are solely that of Amy’s, who had the pleasure of seeing the movie. 

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As a kid, Tomorrowland was my favorite part of Disneyland. Not only because it just looked so cool, but
it had really fun stuff to do. The Adventure Thru Inner Space was my favorite, before Star Tours opened
that is… For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, the ride shrunk you down while you were
sitting in a blue pod and you got to explore atoms while being the size of an atom. It amazed my curious
mind. Then there were the rocket ships, the Autotopia, and the submarines, all in Tomorrowland. The
princess stuff paled in comparison. Science intrigued me more than fairy tales and hokum. What rides
are over in Fantasyland? The Teacups? The weird Dumbo ride? It’s a Small World? Lame compared to
blasting off on a rocket, driving a car, or riding around on Space Mountain.

So, when I got to see a sneak preview of Disney’s Tomorrowland, I was elated.
Overall, it was a decent movie. I think young kids, like 8 through 10 year olds, will enjoy the
cinematography and the story. Adults will relive their childhood spent in Disneyland or Disneyworld. The
movie makers did a great job of recreating that feeling of wonder when you first went to Tomorrowland
as a kid. Even if you didn’t grow up in the 60s when the space race was happening, you can still
appreciate the hope and wonder of the age.

It made me wish that we could get our space program going again. I still remember being in awe as a kid
while watching a Space Shuttle take off on TV. I’ll also never forget seeing it fly over my office building
while living in Sacramento. People lined the streets to watch a Space Shuttle strapped to a jumbo jet fly
over the city before it was retired. Tomorrowland reminded me of the hope that comes with science and
exploration.

The movie has a message about hope and optimism, which I think today’s kids need to hear. There is so
much negativity out in the world that it’s nice to have the future leaders of our world exposed to
something positive.

Movie is in theaters May 22nd.    Are you going to see it ?

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Limited Offer: 2 for 1 Luxury Sandals Resorts

You’ve probably heard about Sandals resorts. Synonymous with quality, sheer luxury, and far flung exotic destinations, Sandals offer unrivalled award winning holidays exclusively to adults. Popular with honeymooners, these lavish escapes are the perfect place for romance, with holidays catering to loved up couples. You can fall in love all over again while drinking cocktails on fine sugar sand beaches, snorkelling in blue lagoons and enjoying fine cuisine.

Christmas seems to have come early this year, with letsgo2 offering a tantalising 2 for 1 offer on seven night holidays in club rooms and suites (date dependent), for a limited period when you book before the 26th May 2015. That means you can enjoy the luxurious all inclusive holiday you would expect from Sandals, but at an incredible 50% off. This may just be the best value holiday of the year!

The only problem you might have is deciding on a location, as this offer includes Sandals resorts in the Bahamas, Barbados, St Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada and Antigua. Each resort has a range of activities included in the price, a huge number of restaurants and bars, and serene settings.

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Jamaica

Opt for Jamaica to experience a holiday that you’ll never forget. For seven night and costing just £1,529 ($2,375) per person (with flights included), you can enjoy the life of luxury with a butler to cater to your every need. Wake up to views over picture-perfect beaches, play a round of golf at the resort’s Country Club, or languish and be pampered at the on-site spa. If you prefer to keep active, spend the day sailing, diving or attend a yoga class, then follow with a romantic candlelit dinner for two at one of the resort’s fifteen restaurants.

Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort, Caribbean

Or if you long to visit the Caribbean, then let the sophisticated Halcyon Resort tempt you. This resort was designed to replicate a traditional Caribbean village with beautiful wooden structures and hundreds upon hundreds of coconut trees. Swim in the vibrant turquoise ocean, lay on the white sandy beach, dine on delicious cuisine and return to your romantic Luxury Poolside Club boudoir. Priced from £1,349 ($2,095) per person, this seven day holiday offers the ultimate escape from hectic daily life and a true piece of tropical paradise.
Are you dreaming of long days soaking up the sunshine, opulent five star luxury and stunning settings? Then you’d better book quickly to avoid disappointment!

Women and Weightlifting

Truth About Womens Weightlifting Infographic

I am a HUGE believer in women weightlifting, for many reasons.    1, because I hate cardio and I find when I do cardio I just want to stick needles in my eyes because I find it boring, repetitive, and pointless.  Yes, many will disagree with me and yes I know cardio is good for your heart and blah blah..  But I get enough cardio in my life on a day to day basis so when I workout I turn to my weights.

 

How about you.. what is your favorite things to do ?

The Evolution of Engagement Ring Style

Whether you’re in the market for an engagement ring or enjoy checking out the latest trends in fine jewellery, you may have noticed that vintage-inspired designs are big right now. Details like milgrain bands, rose gold settings, and geometric cuts are seen in contemporary engagement ring designs, providing a classic look that never really goes out of style. It’s interesting to take a look at how the engagement ring has evolved over the years to see which details have remained in fashion!

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Image Source: Pixabay

Symbolic Beginnings

The use of a ring dates back in a way to the prehistoric era, when cavemen would tie cords crafted from braided grass around their mates’ ankles, waist, and wrists to symbolize ownership. This isn’t the most romantic beginning to the tradition, but by ancient Egyptian times the ring as we know it had appeared in the form of a single silver or gold wire. This was worn on the third finger of the left hand, which was believed to be directly connected to the heart. According to this Vashi infographic about the history of the engagement ring, ancient Romans also sported engagement rings. The bride would wear a gold ring during the ceremony, swapping it with a more practical iron ring at home. By the Middle Ages, the diamond ring made its appearance when Archduke Maximillian of Australia become engaged to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. He marked the occasion with a custom-made gold ring, including the letter “M” spelled out in diamonds.

High Period of Romance

The type of styles that we see today date back as far as the Victorian era, which was a time known for its romance. Victorian engagement ring styles included a heavy use of colourful gemstones, as well as very on-trend rose gold. Diamonds become increasingly common, and the “Tiffany Setting” made its appearance which pushed the diamond to greater prominence. The practice of engraving engagement rings also was common even before this, with lovers engraving a line of poetry or a secret message inside the wedding band during the 1700s. If you take a look at engagement ring styles now, you may note the use of flowers, bows, and hearts – this also dates back to Victorian and Edwardian times.

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Image Source: Pixabay

20th Century Style

Fine jewellery has gone through a number of changes to match fashion’s rapid pace during the 20th century. One of the earliest popular styles was the Art Deco aesthetic during the 20s and 30s. If you love a clean, geometric look, you might want to look for an Art Deco-inspired engagement ring today. These often feature sharp angles and diamonds set in platinum with colourful gemstone accents. Platinum became harder to find during WWII, so gold swung back into fashion in the 1940s. The decadent 60s and 70s featured rings with giant diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds, while the princess cut swung into fashion in the 70s.

Today’s Top Trends

Today, you can pick and choose from a lively mix of engagement ring styles that draws upon all of these trends of the past! (With perhaps the exception of the cavemen cords). At its most basic, the engagement ring is often a single band with a prominent central diamond, or the Solitaire style. Yet there are elements of all of these past designs in many of today’s most unique looks, from Art Deco flair to romantic Victorian bows and hearts. As a result, no matter what your style looks like you’re sure to find the perfect fit.

Longer, Thicker Hair Naturally with Essential Oils

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We see them all the time, those lucky folks who seem to never have a bad hair day, its always nice, shiny and looks great long. You might think they buy all the greatest hair products there are. The truth is that many of those “miracle” hair products have harsh chemicals in them that strip our hair, dry out our scalp and often damage hair follicles. If you are fed up with your hair and are tired of throwing all that money out the window know that there is hope! There are some amazing essential oils for hair that will cost pennies compared to those other products and they work to promote healthy hair and scalp so you can get longer, stronger and thicker hair naturally. Here are a few of the BEST essential oils for hair I have found.

 

My recommendation would be to start off with a scalp detox. This scalp detox is infused with essential oils and its great to rid your hair of chemical build up so you can start fresh. It also works to stimulate the scalp and promote faster hair growth.

 

Essential Oils Scalp Detox:

 

Whip the ingredients together until creamy. Use an applicator brush or a comb and apply the mix to dry hair, on scalp and comb it down the strands. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes or longer if your hair is damaged. When done simply shampoo and condition your hair as usual. You can also add 2 drops of Melaleuca oil to your favorite shampoo to alleviate dandruff and itchy scalp.

 

Essential Oils for Hair

 

Clary Sage Essential Oil: Clary Sage is one of the best essential oils for hair. It works wonders on an inflamed or greasy scalp by balancing the pH level of your scalp and also has a great calming scent.

 

Cypress Essential Oil: Do you have fine, thinning hair? If so you should consider using some Cypress oil as it works at the root of the hair to stimulate hair regrowth. It also works great for more problematic hair problems such as alopecia areata, You can achieve the best results by simply adding a few drops into your favorite conditioner.

 

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon Essential oil is one of the top essential oils for hair that is dry or naturally curly because it works to stimulate the oil glands to produce more oil. In turn this will make your hair shinier, stronger and healthier.

 

After all the hard work of getting your hair back to being healthy and beautiful you don’t want to go back to where you started so I have this amazing Coconut Milk Shampoo I use. It works great and smells AMAZING!!

 

DIY Coconut Milk Shampoo:

  • ¼ cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 cup
  • 1 teaspoon of vitamin E or Olive oil
  • 10 -20 drops of your favorite essential oils (I like Lavender or Cypress)

 

Combine all ingredients into an old shampoo bottle or jar. This keeps well in the shower for about a month. Use about a teaspoon each time you need to shampoo or a little more if you have longer hair.

 

Another great tip I love for great smelling hair is to apply 2 drops of your favorite scented essential oils on your hairbrush and brush your hair. I am always looking for new tips and would love to hear if any of you all use essential oils for hair!!

 

You can always opt to just buy a shampoo and conditioner with essential oils in them already like the Young Living Copaiba Vanilla, Lavender Mint, or Lavender ones.

Interested in learning more about Young Living essential oils?   You can find great info in this blog post.      Wanna see 60 great uses for Young Living essential Oils?  We have a great Infographic to see.

 

 

Great Last Minute Gifts for Mother’s Day

We are less than 2 weeks away from Mothers day, and if you are still not sure what to get your Mom for Mother’s Day, here are some Great Last Minute Gifts for Mother’s Day!  I know I would love any (or all) of these 😉  LOL

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Special Stella & Dot Mother’s Day Promotion
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Stella & Dot wants to wish all mom’s an early Happy Mother’s Day! As a gift, they are offering a special mother’s day deal … when you spend $50 on Stella & Dot goodies, you’ll be able to get their gorgeous red and blue Union Square scarf for only $14.99 (a $59 value)! Take advantage of this special promotion by purchasing your gems by May 9, 9:00pm PST.

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Mom’s love purses and Miche Bag has some amazing and fun purses to choose from.
I have been using my Miche for years and love it.  So many styles and sizes to choose from.

Miche Lifestyle

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Let your Mom get her snack on, with healthy snacks delivered to her door for $20 by NatureBox. I love Nature Box and have found many great snacks by ordering their boxes.  Check them out.

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Of course, sending flowers is always a hit for any Mother on Mother’s Day.   I love getting flowers. Check out ZoomFlower.com – Free Flower Delivery anywhere in USA and Canada! You just cant’ go wrong.

Zoomflower.com. Free Mother's Day Flower Delivery anywhere in USA and Canada.

 

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Is your Mom one of those who likes to take care of her health? She might love a Young Living essential oil kit. Check out how to order here, and if you have questions contact me.   I love my oils, and know your Mom will love her oils too!

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Have you ever heard of “Love with Food” snack boxes.   Maybe your Mom would like one of these, or a years of them.   Check them out, they have amazing products in each box.  I have found many foods I never knew about by subscribing to these boxes.

Love With Food - Snack Smart. Do Good.

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How to Live the High Life in the Maldives on a Budget

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The Maldives is practically synonymous with expensive, with its white sands, blue waters, and endless sun. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You too can enjoy the luxury of the Maldives without having to spend lots of money.

Cheap Accommodation

Because the Maldives have only recently become a tourist destination (as late as the seventies), there isn’t much in the way of super cheap accommodation like hostels. However, if you look there are a few options. AirBnB is a viable option that offers around 150 guesthouses.

Cheap Transport

Getting around the islands can be done really cheaply. Local ferries run on a very laid back schedule and they are really cheap, we’re talking $2-5 for hours of ferrying. If you want to visit lots of islands, then you have to sing to the tune of the ferries. They run infrequently, they don’t run at all on Fridays, so island hopping can be frustrating. If you want to go to a resort island, then you will have to get a speedboat, and that’s where you can really spend some money, with trips at $200.

Cheap Food

If you’re staying in a guesthouse, you will likely have a big breakfast included in the price of your accommodation, which means that you probably won’t even need lunch. Meal options will probably be limited, depending on the size of your island – you’re likely to be eating at your guesthouse if your island is small. Food will work out at around $5-10.

When it comes to drinks, you will need to be careful. As it is a Muslim country, alcohol is banned. So if you’re not staying on a resort, you won’t be able to drink – you’ll have to stick to bottles of water instead.

Taxes and Fees

Be aware of the taxes and fees that the Maldivian government charge you. for every night that you spend in the Maldives, you have to pay $8 bed tax, 8% GST for the room, and a 10% service charge. You may also struggle to find an ATM to get cash out – so make sure that you either pay for your accommodation in advance or you have enough cash on you to last your trip.

The Alternative

On the other end of the spectrum, you can travel to the Maldives, have someone take care of all the details for you and not have to worry about over spending by booking a tour instead. These shoestring tours are perfect as you’ll have paid for the bulk of the activities before you even get there.

 

 

 

 

 

60 Ways To Use Your Young Living Essential Oils Kit

New to Young Living? Maybe thinking about essential oils and not sure how to use them? Here is a great infographic to help you get started.

Young Living is amazing and there isn’t a day goes by that I don’t use at least a half dozen oils, plus the supplements and personal care products. Would you like to learn how you can buy Young Living at wholesale? Or, maybe sell Young Living?
Check out all the info on my Young Living page.

Here are 60 Ways To Use Your Young Living Essential Oils Kit.

60 Ways to Use Your Kit

Planning a Successful Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette

From the bridal shower to the bachelorette party there are so many aspects in the run up to the wedding that are almost as important as the big day itself! After the formalities of the bridal shower are over and done with, it’s time to let your hair down and to start making plans for your last major party with your closest girlfriends as a “free woman”.

Whilst your bachelorette party plans and the bachelor party your husband-to-be has planned may not quite match up, you are both certain to enjoy your last night of freedom in a way that’s special to you.  Whether you’re a vintage tea party type of girl or would rather spend the day being a little more adventurous, there are so many options available to you, but before you make any major decisions about what activities you’d like to try, here are some key areas that will help make your bachelorette party a success.

Keep it Intimate

Whilst the bridal shower is for friends and family and extended family too, ensuring you keep numbers for you bachelorette party manageable is a must – especially if you’re planning on traveling out of town for the celebrations. Pick out your closest girl friends and family that you simply could not have the party without and keep the guest list as exclusive as possible – try not to be too worried about offending extended family members, after all, this is your day!

Set a Date

Setting a date well in advance can help more than you’d think. Of course, it allow your guests to set the dates aside, but if your intended plans involve a trip away or a pricey activity, it gives attendees the chance to set aside money each month to cover the costs. It also gives you a bit of scope to come up with a backup plan should anything go wrong.

Pick Appropriate Activities

You may be an adrenaline loving bachelorette, but if you’ve chosen to invite your mom and your mother-in-law, then a paintballing weekend may not be quite the right choice of activities. Make sure to pick something suitable for everyone you want to attend and that whatever you choose is within a reasonable budget too – or else you may risk those you love not being able to attend. If not all of those attending have met prior to the event, then there is always the awkwardness of the first meeting to overcome, so why not plan some icebreaker games too.

Thank-you Gifts

There’s no doubt your Maid of Honor will have helped you out a great deal with the planning process. From helping to keep you calm to coming up with a shortlist of hotels and things to see and do, the Maid of Honor has plenty to keep her busy, so why not show her how much her help has meant to you by gifting her with something extra special? It’s important to consider her style and tastes, but a piece of special jewellery or a pamper treatment are certain to go down well.

It’s easy to get caught up in creating an event to suit everyone else, so it’s important to remember, the bachelorette is as much about you as the wedding day is. Plan things to suit you, not to suit everyone else, but be certain to consider their likes, needs and budget restrictions too. Whilst a trip to Vegas is fun in theory, so long as you’re surrounded by the people you love, then that’s all that matters!

Tips for Hosting the Perfect Bridal Shower

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Hosting a bridal shower for a friend or family member is a wonderful way to show her how much you care about her and how much you want her to be happy in her married years. Of course, if you’ve never hosted a shower before or you aren’t sure about best bridal shower etiquette, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Keeping your thoughts and ideas organized is a great way to prevent getting overwhelmed, so use this list as a starting point for your bridal shower planning.

Two Months Before the Shower

Pick a date! Before you do anything else, you should work with the bride to pick a date for the shower. Usually, it’s better to host a bridal shower up to two months before the wedding, but definitely don’t host it any later than two weeks before the wedding. Earlier is usually better for keeping the bride from getting overwhelmed with events and planning, especially if she is planning a large or a destination wedding.

 

Rule of thumb: It’s important to include the bride at this stage of planning to make sure you are aware of all the needs and details about the guests. But after this stage, you should take over all of the planning. From this point on, it’s the bride’s job to relax and enjoy her party!  

 

Next, starting planning for the location and theme of the party. If it will be a destination wedding, you may want to pick a venue for the bridal shower that is close to many of the bride’s friends and families, especially if many of them won’t be able to make it to the wedding.

 

You don’t have to decide definitively on a theme or a color palette this far in advance, but it’s fun to have invitations that reflect the theme and palette, so this may be something you want to figure out before you choose or design invitations.

 

Next, work on a guest list. Make sure you are including the bride closely in this aspect of planning.

Rule of thumb: if it’s a large wedding, don’t invite anyone who hasn’t been invited to the wedding. If it is a smaller wedding or a destination wedding, it’s a good idea to invite people who are not invited to the wedding or who might not be able to make it to the wedding.

One Month Before the Shower

By this point, you should have a pretty good idea of who will be able to attend and where you are going to host the shower. Now it’s time to start organizing the particulars for the party.

 

Settle on a theme or on a color palette. You could choose spring decorations and colors if it’s a spring wedding. You don’t have to have a theme, but if the bride has a particular interest or the bride and groom are having a theme wedding or had a theme wedding announcement, it could be fun to reflect that theme in the shower. For example, if the bride and groom are both avid hikers and they met or got engaged on the trail, make it an outdoors or hiking themed party. Enlarge and frame lots of photos of the bride and groom on hikes to decorate the party. Go with a woodsy palette of dark greens and browns. Organize related activities. You could even host the party in a state or national park, or organize a short hike as part of the event.

 

Of course, you aren’t obligated to have a theme and you may be more comfortable with a more traditional party setup. If you decide to go this route, popular palettes to consider might include champagne, pinks, or cream whites. If the bride has already chosen a color palette for the wedding, consider reflecting that palette at the shower. You can also do some fun DIY projects like making a message board and have people attending write little notes for the bride.

 

Next, you should set a budget. As you are determining your budget, try to consider what percentage of your budget should go to decorations, gifts, and food.

 

Finally, consider what you will do for food and drinks at the event. Do you want to have the event catered? Will you hire a bartender to attend? If you are on a budget, can you have friends and family help you prepare the dishes?

 

At this stage, you should also designate roles for the other members of the bridal party and any other guests who will be helping you out. This might include the bride and groom’s mothers and other family members. Give them clear, concise roles and tell them on which days and with which exact tasks you need help. For example, you might ask a friend to prepare a cake for the day of the event and to come over the day before the event to help you decorate.

Two Weeks to Two Days Before the Shower

If you want to give the bride a gift, set yourself a budget of around $30 to $50. As the shower organizer, you shouldn’t feel like you have to also spend a lot on a gift. Choose something thoughtful and purchase it well in advance to be sure it will arrive on time.

 

Purchase all of your decorations or any materials you will need to make your decorations. Over the course of the next two weeks, do small preparation tasks everyday like straightening the house, preparing the centerpiece, wrapping the gift, etc. Things to remember:

  • Take care of any advance preparation early on. For example, if you need to order customized decorations like custom signs with the bride and groom’s names and pictures, order these well in advance to be sure they arrive on time.
  • Order flowers, fruit arrangements, or other centerpieces.
  • Prepare party favors. Cute ideas might include mini flower arrangements, small potted plants, small boxes of chocolates, or something particular to the bride and groom. For example, for the hiking couple, make a gift donation in each guest’s name of a small amount towards a nature preserve trust.

The Day Before and the Day Of

Hopefully, with enough planning in advance, you won’t have to do a lot of last minute preparations. Try to leave yourself only small things for the day before like vacuuming and preparing food items that can be made in advance. Now, have fun and focus on your guests and, of course, the bride-to-be!