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Smile Lines No More Thanks to Botox

I remember when I was younger I thought there would never be a day that I would ever worry or stress about my lines and wrinkles.  I honestly never thought I would see lines and wrinkles on my face.  Yes, I seen the lines on my Mom’s face, my Grandma’s face, and other beautiful women around me.   But, never thought I would ever see them on mine.   I remember looking at women who had deep lines between their eyebrows or around their eyes and had makeup caked up in those lines and thinking, don’t they know they have thick makeup in their lines.   Can’t they see that?   I thought that because I had yet, not seen a line on my face.

Well, That was years ago now and now I have those lines and now it is my makeup that fills in those lines and oh how I hate it!!  Hate it so much I have come to wearing different makeup, and less of it just because I don’t want to look like those women I used to wonder about years ago. Sadly, after years of squinting because my eyes are very sensitive to the sun, I too had lines.   They are called the L lines.   They are those dang lines that just never will go away and there is only one solution ~ BOTOX!!

I never thought I would ever think about, let alone make an appointment, to have Botox.  But, I did and now I am sold!   I can’t believe how a few little pokes in my L lines would make such a HUGE difference in my appearance.

This is me before my Botox treatment.   See the lines ?

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Here is me a few days after my Botox.  It does take about a week or so for it to take full effect, but I was so happy with the results even a few days later.   You can still see them just a touch.. but right now they are totally gone.   And, I am sold!

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I had my Botox done at my local Dentists office – Mount Royal Dental.   My Dentist, Camille Zelen is amazing!!   She offers many procedures and always makes her patients feel very at ease.

If you are local and want to give Botox a try check them out.   They are offering a special to all Living Smart Girl readers, at a rate of $12 per unit for the rest of the summer.  Tell them Living Smart Girl sent ya.

You can also check them out on Facebook.

Have you had Botox?   Tell me about it.


How Compulsive Hair Pulling affects Self Esteem

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Compulsive Hair Pulling is a disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to pull out the hair from the body, and is known clinically as Trichotillomania or TTM. While the scalp is the most common site of pulling, any part of the body including the eyebrows, eyelashes and pubic hairs can be targeted. The location and severity of pulling, and therefore response to treatment varies greatly from person to person. Resisting the urge to pull is a daily struggle, and succumbing to these urges inevitably results in noticeable hair loss or bald patches. Because of the limited awareness of TTM, many people suffer in silence, unaware that there are so many who struggle with the same behavior and that there is help available. This results in feelings of loneliness and isolation, with the individual suffering immense shame and guilt about their behavior.

The Effect of Hair Loss on Self Image

We live in a very aesthetically driven society, in that our value and worth as human beings are judged by the way we present ourselves physically. We are continuously bombarded with definitions of beauty and success, with images of woman with thick, long flowing hair and perfectly structured eyebrows. When hair is repetitively pulled out at the follicles, over time there is the risk that permanent damage can occur. This can cause great shame and embarrassment. People with trichotillomania are often very secretive about their behavior, going to great lengths to hide the evidence of their pulling, such as wearing hats and scarves all the time even when not weather or socially appropriate. It is also common for people to avoid social situations or enjoyable activities such as going to the hair salon, or in severe cases even avoid vital medical care for fear of exposure. In cases where a loved one or friend is aware of the behavior it can also result in strained relationships. For some hair pullers the frequency of the urge experienced and the resulting time spent on pulling hairs can also negatively impact on the individual’s efficiency in important roles, e.g. late-coming for work or school. Studies have shown that most trichotillomania patients have decreased self-esteem, lack of confidence and feel socially inadequate. Due to the lack of awareness of this condition as a clinical disorder, there is an expectation that the person should just be able to just stop, using willpower alone. The inability to resist the urge to pull, despite wanting to and being fully aware of the damaging effects may be a contributing factor in knocking the persons confidence in themselves and their abilities and therefore negatively impacts their self-esteem. Social isolation and dysfunction in daily occupations as a result of hair pulling further exacerbates a lowered sense of self-esteem.

Is help available?

In recent years great strides have been taken in raising awareness of and reducing the stigma attached to compulsive hair pulling. Organizations such as the Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC) are at the forefront of TTM advocacy and research. As such there is an increasing number of health professionals who are becoming skilled in the treatment of trichotillomania. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is seen to be the most effective method of treatment because it addresses the behavior and helps the patient identify practical methods for managing the urge to pull, but also addresses the underlying negative thoughts and emotions that are attached to the urge to pull whether as a trigger, or as a consequence of pulling. Aside from formal therapy, the advent of the digital world has seen an explosion of information and support forums for trichotillomania on the internet. Support from others who are experiencing the same challenges as you can have a positive effect on your self-esteem as you realize that you are not alone and that you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Bloggers, YouTubers and mainstream media coverage of this disorder acknowledges the struggle, but also have an important role to play in challenging the pressures we place on ourselves to conform to societal perceptions of beauty. Engaging with the TTM community and seeking the help and support you need is the best thing you can do to overcome trichotillomania to be your best self.

Botox and plastic surgery

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It is no secret that people like to look young. Most of us are proud of our appearance and we would love to retain it as long as it is possible. Unfortunately, aging is something that we all need to face. However, modern science allows us to prolong period of youth through different procedures and treatments that will allow us to retain young looks and remain beautiful. Among those procedures, two of them are dominant: botox and plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery is a procedure that was developed during World War One. Many soldiers were returning from the war with severe deformations or lack of limbs. In order to remedy it, people invented different ways to reconstruct missing parts and restore individual’s life. As the time passed, people realized that the plastic surgery can also be used for cosmetic purposes. Nowadays, cosmetic surgeries are among the most popular medical procedures. They are allowing individuals to modify their appearance and create a new self. Most of the people opt for things such as lip or breast surgery.

Botox represents botulinum toxin. It is one of the strongest toxins that exist and by lowering its concentration it is possible to use it for medical purposes. When used, it relaxes the muscles and it levels the wrinkles on face. However, there is only a limited use to it; it can be only used for the wrinkles that are made through facial expression in areas around eyes, nose and forehead. It is useless for any imperfections that are made by sunlight or by skin aging.

Even though these two procedures are very different, it is possible to use both of them in order to modify personal appearance. They are both excellent ways to improve our looks and to remove any imperfections made by injuries. However, given that these are first and foremost medical procedures, we need to approach them with certain care and precaution.

The biggest issue with plastic surgery is the fact that it is permanent. It doesn’t mean that the person can’t have additional surgeries; it is just that the effect remains if we don’t modify it any further. In some cases, implants themselves can lead to issues and often, people have depression as a result of the procedure. Specialists that work in Doctor Medica emphasize that the person needs to be sure about the treatment before the surgery. Severe change to appearance can lead to sadness and depression because the individual is not able to relate to the person in the mirror. Most of us are accustomed to our body, with all its imperfections, and any change to it can make us regret our decision.

At the same time, botox is a procedure that is affixing our facial expression. Even though it is used to level any wrinkles, it makes us unable to form certain expressions that were previously natural to us. According to certain research, this can also lead to lack of confidence and depression because the person is not able to laugh properly anymore and to make all the expressions that were unique to them.

Although these treatments have become common, individual should have in mind that these are medical procedures and there are many things which can go wrong. Like other procedures, we should be very careful because it can lead to damage to our body.

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Top 7 Tips to Selecting Wedding Bands

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A wedding band is one of the most precious possessions for all married couples as it not only a symbol of love but also reminds you of all the wonderful memories associated with marriage. There is wide variety of bands available in the market and selecting one is a daunting task. Thus to help narrow your search, we have come up with the top 7 tips for selecting a wedding band:

  1. Set a budget:  The first and the most important point to be considered while selecting a wedding band is the budget. Set a maximum budget in your mind so that you can go and look for the bands in your range.
  2. Select the metal: Once you have set your budget, now it’s time to decide the type of metal you prefer. Wedding bands come in variety of metals like yellow gold, platinum, tungsten, titanium and others and you can make your choice depending on a variety of factors such as your personal taste as well as matching your ring with your existing jewelry collection.
  3. Select the color: Color also plays a major role when it comes to the selection of wedding bands. The bands in white gold and platinum are generally available in silver tone while the ones made from tungsten and titanium is in grey shade. If you are looking for the golden shade then yellow gold will be the best option whereas the rose gold will come with a touch of pink
  4. Select the style: Once the metal and the color are selected, the next step is to select the style and the stones. The wedding bands come in various styles and with stone settings like gemstone and diamonds. Some of the common styles in bands include braided, hammered, plain, vintage, heart, floral and others.
  5. Compare the bands: Since wedding bands are special pieces it is always better to compare them at multiple places to get the best one within your budget. Besides jewelry showrooms, a lot of people these days also shop for bands online to find unique styles such as braided, celtic, or hammered wedding bands, as websites enable you to go through multiple options and compare. There are many reputable sites like Apple of Gold Jewelry and other online jewelers which have a huge collection of these bands to select from. Hammered Wedding Bands from Apples of Gold is one of their most popular styles of rings.
  6. Check for the correct size: Majority of the people does not take off their wedding bands and thus it is important to select the right size which is comfortable. While selecting the design and metal of the band always remember that you have to wear them in summers, winters, during pregnancies and all other conditions. Thus while selecting the size, consider the time when your body is calm and the temperature is normal.
  7. Start your search early: There is a possibility that the design, metal or color that you like in a wedding band is not available in your size and has to be custom made which may take time. Thus it is always better to start your search early so that you have time to look out for options and even order a custom band if needed.

Thus follow the above given tips and you are surely going to get a band of your choice.

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Tips for helping to prevent a UTI

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl received compensation for constructing a post about URISTAT® 
All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl.

The female body is forced to deal with a battery of unpleasant things such as cramps, bloating, irritability, and the dreaded UTI. If you’ve experienced a urinary tract infection, you know how miserable it can be. Some of the symptoms can include a strong, persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy or pink colored urine, and pelvic pain and discomfort. Sounds like a blast, right? UTIs are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and down right annoying, but as long as you seek treatment from your doctor – they aren’t overly worrisome. While it’s impossible to completely avoid a UTI, there are many tips to help prevent a UTI.

Hydrate Yourself! Drinking water is important for so many reasons and reducing the chance of getting a UTI is an added bonus. The reason this is beneficial is simple – the more fluids you drink, the more often you urinate. The bacteria that causes UTIs is flushed from your urethra or bladder when you urinate.

Front to Back! After using the bathroom, always wipe front to back. This prevents potentially pathogenic bacteria from being spread and getting close to the bladder. Wash in the shower or bath the same way. Speaking of bathing, it’s advised to shower and avoid prolonged baths where the water can quickly become contaminated by the body’s own florae.

Use Gentle Products! There are a variety of hygiene products including deodorant sprays, douches, and powders as well as soaps and body washes that may cause irritation to the urethra and trigger a UTI. Be sure to discontinue use of any product that causes discomfort. Additionally, diaphragms and other forms of birth control such as spermicidal agents can increase the risk of infection.

Doing the Deed! After sex, it’s important to urinate as it keeps bacteria from moving into the urethra. Drink a glass of water if you don’t feel the need to urinate. It’s also recommended to avoid using spermicidal jelly as it also kills healthy vaginal florae that is important in suppressing the bacteria that can lead to UTIs.

Cotton is Sexy! I know that our undergarments can make us feel sexy, but synthetic materials including nylon, polyester, and spandex restrict airflow to the genitals. This causes a warm, moist environment which is exactly what nasty bacteria flourishes in. Porous and breathable, cotton keeps the genitals dry. And remember you can get cotton in almost every cut, they don’t have to be granny panties!

Gotta Go Right Now! When you feel the urge to urinate, don’t wait! Obviously holding it is uncomfortable, but it also gives bacteria time to multiply in your urinary tract. It’s recommended to urinate every four hours to keep everything as healthy as possible.

Even while taking these steps, you can still contract a UTI infection. You must see a doctor to treat a UTI with a prescription antibiotic! But you can get fast, temporary relief of pain, burning, urgency, and frequency of urination with over the counter URISTAT® Pain Relief Tablets. They contain phenazopyridine – which is doctor recommended for OTC urinary pain relief. While you’re waiting to see a doctor, these tablets can be taken at the first sign of a UTI and can be continued while on antibiotics for further relief. For more information on their Pain Relief Tablets or their other products visit www.uristat.com. They also share a wealth of information on UTIs and have a downloadable $1 off coupon.

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MaryJaneFashion.com is giving away £500 worth of wholesale stock on social media!

Mary Jane Fashion is a UK-based supplier of wholesale celebrity-inspired ladies fashions with a background in retail that runs through generations. They supply worldwide and stock to many large and small international boutiques and retailers, many of which use social media to as a way of self-marketing their company from the comfort of their own home. It was from this realisation of how simple it had become for small retailers to market themselves online that Mary Jane Fashion came up with the idea to give an individual the chance to win enough stock to set up their own business. They decided that, by giving away £500 ($791) worth of their celebrity-inspired clothing they could be setting someone up with a business for life. With social media being such a popular channel of promotion for many of their already existing clients, there was no better platform to launch their competition.

 

Mary Jane Fashion’s online website has been specifically designed in the format of an online clothing store, making it increasingly easier for first time business owners to place orders and have goods shipped directly to their door. Owning your own fashion boutique has never been so simple.

To enter,

  • Facebook:
    • ‘Like’ the MaryJaneFashion.com Facebook page
    • ‘Like’ the competition post pinned to the top of their profile page.
  • Instagram:
    • Follow @maryjanefashionwholesale,
    • Like the competition image on their profile page
    • Repost the image along with the hashtag #MJF500Giveaway and @maryjanefashionwholesale.
  • Twitter:
    • Follow @maryJfashion
    • Retweet their competition post
    • Repost the competition post with the hash tag #MJF500Giveaway (link in bio for more details on Terms and Conditions).

The competition will be running until 12th July 2015, and the winner will be announced a few days later!

“We are giving away this prize, as a form of kick-starting a potential business. £500 worth of Mary Jane Fashion stock will provide someone with enough products to establish a small, profitable company. We would like entrants to think of this as an opportunity, not just a prize!”

“We’d love to be the catalyst for someone setting up a successful business. Sometimes it’s just a tip in the right direction that’s all it takes!”

Mary Jane Fashion will also give any advice and guidance that is needed, if the winner is indeed a first time business owner.

 

Fitness Fashion Apparel Round Up

Disclosure ~ This fun post is a round up done thru Mode.com and Living Smart Girl received compensation for creating a story.

Being a fitness/lifestyle blogger I am contacted all the time to review fitness clothing.  I am pretty picky on my fitness clothing, because I want comfort and fashion at the same time.  Might be silly, and mostly because I workout at home, but I wanna look cute regardless of where I am.   My fitness clothing is sometimes on me for many hours and for that reason, it also needs to be comfortable.   I put together a fun Fitness Fashion Apparel round up on Mode and wanted to share it here with you.

Check out Fitness Fashion Apparel

by Sheila Cooper Thomas at Mode

Tell me what your favorite item from my round up might be. What other fitness apparel do you like ? Is there something you would like to see me do a review of?

Enjoy Fitness and Fashion with BaliniSports

Disclosure ~ Living Smart Girl received product as compensation for a post/review.  All opinions on the product are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.
@BaliniSports  #BaliniSports

 

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There isn’t a much better feeling than hitting it hard on your workout and knowing you are doing your body good.  But, it also feels good to be comfortable when you workout, and looking good doesn’t hurt either.  There is no reason you have to hit the gym, regardless of if you workout at home or in public, in frumpy workout clothing that is old and torn.    I workout at home for 2 reasons.  1.)  I live at least 45-60 min from any gym.  2.) I hate gyms 😉  LOL!

I love workout clothing!  My husband also likes to see me in workout clothing.  He is NOT a workout buff, but likes the way workout clothing fits me. I think he would prefer it over my pajama’s most days.

If you want to be comfy, and look good when you workout, or just when you hang out, check out BaliniSports for all your fitness clothing. They have the cutest shorts, pants, and tops I have found in a while.  I love my pants!  They have nice mesh like sections in them and are so comfy.  My top is super cute, very comfy and could be used as a bra if I wanted as well.   I will be wearing this for many things, including working out, biking, hanging on the pontoon, vacationing, etc.  Love it!

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 You can see the little yellow things on the sides of my thighs.  Those are the mesh sections.  And the yellow top is a stretchy section that is perfect and doesn’t pinch or squeeze.    The top is an over the head top which I like because I can’t stand when an exercise top has hooks in the back.  That is not fun when you are doing crunches or floor exercises on your back.  I like the way it fits and it’s perfect support for the kind of workouts I do.   I wouldn’t recommend it if you are doing lots of jumping, as the support isn’t there for that.  Well, for many anyhow 😉

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Check out BaliniSports and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Treat Your Feet to Vionic Shoes #SoleStory

Disclosure ~ Living Smart Girl was compensated with product to join forces in sharing about @Vionicshoes and #SoleStory .
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Growing up I was like most young girls.   Wanted to wear the latest fashion on my feet, didn’t worry about what I might have to deal with some day, for how uncomfortable my shoes were at the time.  Well, in my early 30’s I started really having issues with my feet.  I have always had that lump on the inside by my big toe, and was told it was a bunion but I honestly didn’t know what a bunion was or what kind of pain they could cause.  Man, did I find out as I got older.   My bunions started causing so much pain that no matter what I put on my feet.. they hurt!! I started buying shoes a  size bigger, in wide sizes, and just trying hard to not be on my feet for hours and hours because I knew I would pay come evening.    I finally broke down and decided to have bunion surgery.  My Aunt Tammy had surgery on both her feet at the same time, and her Dr. was amazing so I figured it was time.  But, I only did one foot.  And, to this day wish I had done them both because I have now put off my 2nd foot’s bunion surgery for 3 years.  Why oh why!!   I know why, because it hurts, it’s hard to be laid up for 8 weeks, and I just am to busy!!

Now I tell people I have one pretty foot, and one lumpy foot.  See the big lump on my right foot.  Ouch!!  Thankfully it was my left foot that caused me more pain so now I am back to being able to wear cute shoes again for the most part.  I have found that Vionic shoes fit great, and feel great.  I have at least 4 different pairs of Vionic shoes and not a one bothers my bunion on my right foot.

Being on my feet all day, enjoying my fitness, hiking, walking the dogs, site seeing, and just living life, I can’t let bad shoes stop me.  Thankfully I can do it all and my feet don’t hate me come evening, or mid way thru my fun.

I will get my right foot done, one of these days.  I say winter for me is best, because I live in Minnesota and you rarely find me outside when it’s below 30 degrees.

Do you have a #SoleStory ?  Leave me a comment and tell me yours.

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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.