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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

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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StellaDot1
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.

StellaDot

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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!

YoungLivingButton

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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

maldives

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

bridalshower

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!

Look Good in Your Clothing

Disclosure ~ Living Smart Girl received an awesome CoCoon Perfect Sit Braless T-Shirt Shaper.
All opinions expressed are 100% that of mine. 
#hourglassangel
 

Free Shipping on orders of $75 or more at HourGlassAngel.com - shop now
Do you ever have those days, where you feel.. just.. blah?  You know, bloated, carrying some extra tummy fluff?  Man, I have those days and some months it seems I have more than less.   Dieting, exercising, sweating, going hungry, watching others not work as hard as you do, and looking awesome in their clothing.  What is their secret?   Well…  let me tell ya girls!!  Their secret is not skipping that piece of cake at their kids birthday party, or ordering water to drink when all their friends are having margarita’s.  Nope.. their secret is under their clothing.   It’s called a little extra tummy support.  So many people are using that little extra help now days.  Kinda like the women back in the good ol’ days. We all want to look good in our clothing, right ?    And as we all know, after a few kids things just never fit the same.  I can exercise till I die… but I am not giving up my occasional sweet treats.. so I just slip into my body shaper ;)

I love my new CoCoon Perfect Fit Braless Shaper.   I slip it on, then get dressed.   It perfectly tucks into my jeans and smoothes out any fluff I might have.   I can wear it under anything, even a tank top.   I like the CoCoon design because I can wear my bra, any bra, and it helps give me a lift as well.    Some key features ~  Underbust shaping tank, Bi-directional smooth fabric, double layer in the abdomen area, adjustable and removable straps.    Your results when wearing the CoCoon ~ Trims abdomen, whittles waist, slims hips and lifts your bust.   It is perfect!

I have tried other shapers, like the ones that cinch the waist, or squeeze the crap out of you.  So uncomfortable and honestly, not healthy at all!  Wearing something like that for to long, or for an extended period of time is just not healthy for your insides.  They are forcing your organs to be pushed into areas they should not be, just to make your waist look thinner after a certain period of “waist training”.  Seriously?  Waist Training.. who in the world thought of that.  We need our waist.. it is where we keep our vital organs.  Don’t be ashamed of your waist, ever!!  But, there is no reason we have to have our extra fluff hang over our pants if we don’t want it to.  That is why I love body slimmers.  They are safe, and used for the purpose of feeling confident in our clothing.   Do I wear it while at home?  Sometimes.  Some days I need that extra back support.  It is comfortable enough to wear every day, but because it isn’t “training” anything.. it’s not necessary.  So, time to stop fretting about how you look in your clothing.. just slip into a shaper and feel like a new woman.

cocoon

 

 

How to Plan the Perfect Honeymoon: 8 Ways to Keep it Stress Free

honeymoon

There’s nothing more romantic than jetting off to a faraway destination with your newlywed husband. He’s the love of your life and this is the vacation of a lifetime, the one that seals the marriage with a beautiful setting away from everyone else. But like any trip away, travelling can be stressful, especially if you come across common travel bloopers such as getting lost, losing your luggage, missing a bus/train/plane, or simple forgetting to pack something essential.

 

If you want to keep your honeymoon as stress-free as possible, plan smart and follow these tips:

 

  1. Plan Ahead

Don’t leave your honeymoon plans until the last minute. Plan far in advance to make sure that you have plenty of time for everything else.

  1. Book a Tropical Wedding

Get married abroad and you won’t have very far to go for your honeymoon. Book a luxury wedding package with a trusted company such as Tropical Sky and you won’t have to worry about flights times the morning after.

  1. Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential for everyone. But when it’s your honeymoon, it’s even more vital if you want to have a stress-free time. Make sure you are covered wherever you go and always read the small print.

  1. Consider Hiring a Car

Although public transport can be handy, it can sometimes be stressful when trains or buses are late (or if you miss your alarm and sleep in!). Why not hire a car so you can go about your honeymoon at your own leisurely pace? The freedom of driving may even inspire some spontaneity during your trip.

  1. Get a Guide Book

Even if you aren’t generally a guide book user, you should definitely consider buying a book for your honeymoon. Time is precious so it’s important to organize your time wisely. Some of the best guide books include Lonely Planet and Rough Guides.

  1. Research Restaurants

Food is such a huge part of taking a vacation. It can make or break an entire travel experience so researching restaurants before you travel is definitely recommended. Read up on travel guides and travel books for the hidden gems that no-one else has discovered yet.

  1. Leave Time for Beauty

Before you jet off, it’s important to leave some time for beauty treatments. Every girl wants to look and feel perfect on her honeymoon – so make sure you book yourself in for a manicure, eyebrow wax, bikini wax or hair appointment the week before you fly.

 

  1. Plan Your Budget

Never leave home without enough money to cover your vacation. If your cash flow is tight, a great way to pay for the honeymoon is to add elements of the trip to your wedding gift list.

The Best Holidays to Clear Your Mind

skiing

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday stressful life is something everyone looks forward to at least once a year. The opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself in a new environment is a great way to clear one’s mind, especially when work is taxing or the demands of family life are taking their toll. However, it’s often the case that many of us often end up returning from a holiday more wound up and exhausted than before, whether because of the company you were with, how you traveled or where you stayed. Just looking at natural scenery on a computer has been shown to reduce tension, so taking a vacation in an area with beautiful scenery really can help clear your mind.

Beach Holidays

When booking a beach holiday, the main mistake people tend to make is mis-aligning the location and time of year: spending two weeks in August alongside thousands of fellow tourists in Mallorca is never going to be relaxing. If you’re worried your chilled-out couple vacation is going to be ruined by hordes of family holidays then choose an out of season period, a less popular destination, or combination of the two.

If heat isn’t a factor in your destination choice then visiting the Outer Hebrides guarantees a quiet time with plenty of stunning beaches, hills and wildlife. For warmth, Pelješac in Croatia boasts soft shingle beaches and glorious coves while being two hours from the capital Dubrovnik, making it relatively quiet even at the height of summer.

Rail Getaways

Whether traveling through Africa, Asia or Europe, a luxury rail holiday allows plenty of comforts in your own cabin and the ability to see far more of the countries than a cruise provides. There’s no stress of driving in a foreign land, exhaustion from walking all day or struggles reading a map either.

Organising a holiday can be stressful at the best of times, let alone when you’re feeling vulnerable from the pressures of work and home life, so opting for a getaway with everything organised by a travel company takes a load off your mind. ITC Luxury Travel offer a range of rail holidays which do this as well as allowing you to take in some stunning scenery across the world.

Ski Trips

Active vacations such as ski trips may sound tiring, but a physically demanding break can actually provide a refreshing few days or weeks away from the mental exhaustion of the office. Avoid going to busy resorts at peak times and get out on the slopes – gorgeous, snow-capped surroundings and the thrill of speeding downhill will blast any worries from your mind. You can decide how much or little you ski depending on your mood – the fantastic scenery provides a calming atmosphere whether you’re skiing or not, and you can always sit back and enjoy a hot chocolate whilst watching your companions

From classic to stylish: our top tips to reconvert your interior

When your classic interior in shades of white, black and pastel tones, is flirting dangerously with the boring side of things, there are a few little touches that can change your home from neutral and cold to inspiring and cool. The great news is that a classic interior is a perfect canvas to get started and that finding new pieces is a relatively easy task for all the budding interior designers out there.

 

If your home design mostly revolves around white and black tones, the best bet would be to opt for colourful accessories to add a splash of colour and bring some visual flair and rhythm. From coat hangers to photo frames and mats, any small item can potentially add that special touch. A generally good tip is to try and mix a maximum of three colours (one cold, two warm) with some neutrals to an overload and giving you a headache. It may not look like much but it’s very efficient and fun too, especially if you enjoy the odd visit to the DIY store.

 

The 1970’s trend is very strong now on the catwalk so it comes as no surprise that its influence is already expanding towards the interior design world too. Try to picture the look: orange earthy tones, a bit of formica furniture here and there and flowery paper walls. All best served in moderated touches around the house of course.

 

If you’re more of the understated type, it should be noted that the 1970’s can teach us a great lesson in mixing pop pieces with contemporary ones, so you don’t have to go full on: find one or two pieces of furniture, either vintage originals or replicas, and let them shine on their own against a more neutral backdrop.

 

If psychedelic wallpapers for the living room were never really part of your plan, try and spruce up your classic interior with some modern options: graphic tiles, metals, indigo and painterly rugs.

 

Graphic or patterned tiles can also be applied to bring a new lease of life in an otherwise plain-looking kitchen or bathroom. Add some silver and gold in the shape of designer lighting, a photo frame or wallpaper for a modern look. Indigo works great in contrast with white walls and floorings for a fresh look or with black for a Victorian powder room feel.

 

When adding your own touch, always remember that in interior design inventiveness is a fine line between eclecticism and clumsiness…still, don’t be afraid to have fun!