May your flowers bloom

Who else is as excited as I am to finally have warm weather? I absolutely love changing seasons! When I was a child I remember every season and holiday change. My mother had decorations for every single holiday and season. I especially remember the handmade appliance covers she made. Beautiful hand quilted covers for the toaster, toaster oven, and mixer. It just felt like the final piece. In the summer it was Red white and blue themed, and I remember thinking beach season and backyard bbq are on their way.

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As a mother myself now I try to carry on the traditions with my own family. Nothing would bring me greater joy than to hear them say “thank you for the traditions” when they get older. So what does it look like for us? And what can you do to enhance or start creating your own? I’m glad you asked!

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I’m always looking for ways to get the family outside, I love being outdoors and I think it’s important to stay connected to nature so this year we amped up our backyard by building our own fire pit, added a few Adirondack chairs, some tiki torches and voila! Our own backyard retreat. The big box stores have fire pit kits you can purchase or you can build it yourself. They also have firebowls that are portable and can be brought in if need be. Can you smell the s’mores yet?? I may be an adult but when I think of a campfire I think of s’mores, and do you know what cannot eat my s’mores, or me? Bugs!!!

Bugs are in my opinion the only downfall to summer time. I suppose you have to take the bad with the good though... or do you? Insert super scary muahahah laugh... the bloodsuckers are out but I’ve got a few tricks to keep those vampy bugs at bay. The dollar store has plastic spray bottles that you can fill yourself, so grab a couple of those. Fill each bottle with water then add any of these mixtures of these essential oils.

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Mixture #1

For bee repellent

Equal parts lemongrass and peppermint

Mixture #2

For wasps

Clove oil

I recommend spraying this around the area outside you’ll be enjoying. Clove is very strong and might be unpleasant if applied directly to clothing.

Mixture #3

Mosquito be gone

Citronella

Eucalyptus

Mixture #4

Alternate mosquito

Spearmint

Lemongrass

Lavender

Hopefully these will help you keep the bugs at bay so you can go out and play!

Now if you don’t love s’mores I have some other tasty treats to share with you to keep you and your family cooled off! Even a little something for your pup to enjoy!

DIY popsicles are so much fun to make and you can get really creative! Try using yogurt with chopped fruit, or even herbal tea with cut fruit. The kids can make smoothie pops or orange cream sickle pops. I’m telling you the possibilities are endless. Walmart, target and other places will have summer themed molds on the shelves that will beg to be filled! Amazon even has dog bone shaped molds for your pup! Fill them with plain yogurt and peanut butter, and your pooch will think they’ve gone to heaven!!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for an unforgettable summer and I’d love to hear any traditions you had as a child or have started with your own family. Leave a comment below and share your summer stories.

~Ashley

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Posted on April 30, 2019 .

-The one thing we all have in common is the Earth-

Happy April everyone! This month as you may or may not know is earth month, and it’s a great time to consider the environmental impacts you can make each and every day. I want to share with you ways you can make changes to ensure that we leave this earth better than we found it, for our children and every generation to come. But first a story.

When i was young every year at school we celebrated Earth month. We planted several trees, and would pick up garbage around the campus. Now even though I did not understand the extent of environmental challenges we had, I did understand the importance of preserving the beautiful planet that we have been blessed with.

I remember watching the children's movie “Ferngully” when i was around 8 and was horrified! I couldn't understand why people would be be so cruel to nature. Why did we need to tear so much down just to have more buildings? Didn’t we have enough? Didn’t they understand that we need oxygen to survive? That trees provide that for us and were tearing them down? I was so upset about this and at that moment was when i decided to always care for the earth.

Now as an adult I'm able to see so many more problems, and opportunities that make a difference. I truly believe that if we all cared for the earth all year long, we could leave it better than we found it. Below i’m going to share with you some ways that can you and your families can help. And then i’m going to share some exciting news about how AVEDA is helping people around the world this month, and all year long.

Plant a tree.

Now this seems like the most obvious and most talked about. Don’t skip this one just because it seems like the most popular. We need all the trees we can get. Plus this is an excellent way to provide shade for your home, and mature trees are great for re-sale value.

2. Invest in re-usable grocery bags. The amount of plastic bags in landfills is disturbing. Its probably one of the easiest things we can do to eliminate waste. Besides you wont have to worry about the plastic handles giving out when your trying to get your groceries inside.

3. Composting- Do you love to garden? You want to know a secret? Your garden loves your food just as much as you do! The best part it’s free!! Who doesn’t love free? Google has so many tutorials to building your own compost box, can, whatever you may decide to use. Your garden will thrive on this, and we wont need to pollute the environment with fertilizer either.

4. Spend an afternoon picking up garbage with your family. This is a great opportunity to teach children about the value of this planet we call home. You can literally leave a place better than you found it.

5. Ride a bike- Now listen I'm not saying to only ride a bike. I work 30 miles away from home. Im certainly not biking that. But if you live close to a grocery store or convenience store and you just need a soda or gallon of milk. Consider riding your bike. You'll get some sun, save gas, help the environment. It’s a win, win, win… LOL

6. Recycle- This is something that i know we have al heard for years and years, however is it a part of your daily habits? Are you consistent and thorough? I know I'm guilty of not always throwing the string cheese wrapper in the correct container. NO big deal right? If 1,000 people did that everyday, by the time we all finished our packages of 15 that would be 15,000 the reality is this is a miniature scale to what is actually thrown into landfills of non biodegradable products. Make a sign to remind yourself and family members, see if you can tip the scales of what goes into the actual garbage opposed to the recycling bins.

If you would like more ideas on how to help, Google of course knows all. Go check out more ways you can chip in to help make our planet happy again.

As I said before, I have some exciting news about AVEDA and earth month this year. I’m so proud of the company i work for because earth month is every month for AVEDA. During April every year AVEDA focuses on clean water. Not just cleaning up the oceans, but providing clean drinking water for people around the world. This year AVEDA has teamed up with ‘Charitywater’ to help reach more communities that are without life’s most vital resource. This company is incredible and i urge you to check them out and read some of the stories from people who have been blessed by this company.

You can also come into LG Howard& Co. during the month of April and pick up a limited time Shampure hand & body wash for $35 and all proceeds will go to Charitywater. If you are not local you can find an AVEDA salon, or experience store to help this amazing project.

This month is a time for new beginnings, new habits, new growth, new chances to make big differences.

“We do not inherit the earth from out ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

-Native American Proverb

~Ashley

Posted on April 2, 2019 .

Time for a reset

“Springtime is the lands awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn”

- Lewis Grizzard

Happy March everyone! Can I just tell you how much I love this month? The few really cold days we get here in sunny southwest Florida are behind us, It's the beginning of march madness, and its time to start thinking about the summer that lies ahead. Now if your reading this and your NOT living in Florida that last statement probably left you confused. Trust me we are indeed moving into summer.

The holidays are behind us, along with the amazing holiday food, and it’s time for a reset. Around this time of the year, and also in October I like to do a full reset. This starts with a cleanse of my body, and helps get all the gunk out from all those amazing holiday indulgences! However I also like to do a few other resets. Have you ever just felt like you were slugging along with all this extra weight and baggage in life? I have a few tips that will help lighten your step and get you skipping into spring!

So lets start with a body cleanse.

There's so many products you can choose from, different methods, and lengths of time. Do your research and as always talk to your doctor before starting if you have any health concerns. I’m going to share with you a few methods I've done over the years, to give you some inspiration. Enter the jack lalanne juicer! If you are familiar with this particular juicer you know just how massive this thing is. However it is super powerful and in my opinion does a fantastic job of removing the pulp, which I CANNOT STAND! So the juicing method, I juice for 3 days and do not consume any solids, meat or nuts. I usually start with a green juice in the morning containing spinach, kale, cucumber, green apple, lemon, and kiwi. Then an orange smoothie in the afternoon which is my absolute favorite! That is carrots, peaches, nectarines, ginger, and oranges. This guy is the reason you'll want a machine that removes pulp, the carrots make A LOT of pulp{shivers} for a mid-day treat, i do a simple watermelon and mint smoothie, and a purple smoothie for dinner that has beets, grapes, blueberries, purple lettuce, banana, and blackberries. Now in between these smoothies its important to drink lots and lots of water to help flush all the toxins out.

This past year I felt a little lazy and wanted to make it simple to do this at work, so I simply drank chicken or bone broth for 3 days. I still had my protein shake in the morning and snacked on crackers, fruit, and veggies if I needed something with consistency. This cleansing method can really get things moving quickly and so you don't need to cleanse long. If you make it 2 days, then you've probably done your system a lot of good. Now i know this method isn't going to pack your system full of nutrients and minerals like the above method, but i like it because your body really gets flushed! Even though fruits are considered healthy they do still have lots of sugar in them. For me personally I like to give my body a chance to flush out everything. Our bodies change every 7 years or so, we develop sensitivities to things and lose some the same way. Just because its a fruit or vegetable doesn't mean your body likes it. This method helps to clear most build up and when you return to your normal diet you'll be better able to notice if something bothers you.

If you have a great cleanse method drop it in the comments. I'd love to hear from you!

Besides your body there's so many ways to reset your life as well.

Remove clutter anywhere you can.

Another thing I do twice a year is clean out my closet. Dun Dun Duuuun! I watched a documentary a couple years ago and it changed my view of the things I hold onto. Lots of people can go into their closet and find an article of clothing that they have had for 10 years or more. Why? Do you wear it? Are you holding onto it because it reminds you of a time you felt better? The big question is “Does it bring you joy?” This was the big question in the movie I watched and it made so much sense to me. I went through my closet and tried on every single piece of clothing and asked myself, “Does it bring me joy? Does it reflect my style exactly? If i were standing in a store, would i buy it again?” If the answer was no to any one of those questions it went out the door. Harsh?? No its not harsh, its freeing! What I was left with was only items in my closet that i absolutely loved, and a whole lot of space too! I could see the items in my closet and not have to dig! I then took this thinking and applied it to everything else in my house, my car, my friends list, my priorities and you know what? I'm left with friends, tasks, items, and memories that i absolutely love!

The truth is we change… several times over in this life, and there's no reason we have to carry around all the toxic waste of the past. Cleanse your mind, your closet, your body as often as needed. You'll be skipping again no time.

Posted on March 13, 2019 .

Show yourself some LOVE <3

Love looks not with the eyes,

But with the mind; and therefore

Is winged Cupid painted blind.

-William Shakespeare

Happy February everyone!

Hopefully all of you are still charging forward into 2019. February has long been known for two things.

1) The month a lot of people give up on their resolutions made the previous month.

2) Valentines Day

Both can be stressful! I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I made a pretty big goal for myself this year. But also because this is supposed to be the month of Loooove.. ( I hope you read that the way I intended) :) I mean if you think about it we spend so much time thinking about what we want to change about ourselves, whether physically, financially, or personally. All with the idea that we will be better tomorrow than we are today. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, but what about our today selves?

-Take the time to stop and smell the roses-

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, who is single. She was telling me that Valentines Day always makes her anxious because she doesn’t have a date. She then made a statement that made me question how we treat ourselves. Yes OURSELVES.

My friend said to me “you know if I felt better about myself, I’d probably have somebody in my life” when I asked her what she meant, she explained that she wanted to be more fit, wanted to be further in her career that she was, and overall felt like she was stagnant. We talked more and overall she just felt BLAH! She explained she feels like she’s not ready to put herself out there yet. Not until she feels better about herself.

I jokingly said to her, “why don’t you take yourself out on a date?” She looked at me as if I had just then decided to start talking to her in an unknown language. Truth be told I didn’t really expect my remark to be taken seriously, but she processed the idea and said “you know what? I am going to do it! I’m going to get all dressed up and take myself out!”

I went home that night and thought about this conversation over and over. Why do we forget about ourselves? Why do we work so hard to please other people, and lose sight of our own self- love? Why do we base our opinions of ourselves on the opinions of others? We give so much of ourselves to our families, friends, jobs, and communities, but what do we give to ourselves? Why do we let our future self stop us from enjoying today?

I think it’s important to find something that makes you happy that is just for YOU!

I recently started painting. Not because I ever desire to have my art showing in a gallery, or because I have a natural talent. I do it because it makes me happy. It’s something that helps me release stress, and allows me to be creative.

Take some time and think about something you’ve always wanted to do. It could be learning to kayak, go hiking, take an art class, or even just taking time for a pedicure. Whatever it is, will it bring you peace? Or allow you to discover a part of you that’s perhaps always buried? My friend decided to take herself out, because she’s a social person and enjoys being around people, but has neglected that due to her insecurities. But if we don’t get out of our own heads we may miss out on the best experiences of our life!

I encourage all of you to find a way to give yourself some love. Something that is for you and only you. If others benefit from it, then wonderful. Just make sure your doing it just for yourself. A so called date night. Let’s give ourselves more love, and fill our own cups.

Life goes by so fast, don’t wait to enjoy tomorrow, start loving today.

Ashley

Posted on February 1, 2019 .

New Year New Blog

Hello everyone! Welcome to LG Howard & Company’s new blog!!

I hope you all have enjoyed the holidays, and made some amazing memories.

I know I have had one too many Christmas cookies, but were going to get into that shortly. I wanted to start off and share a little bit about what this blog is all about, and what kind of things we will be sharing with you. As some of you know Christine and I do ‘Saturday’s with the Stylist’ on Facebook and Instagram. If you haven’t, check us out on Instagram at ‘lgowardsalon’ and on Facebook at LG Howard & Company, and don’t forget to follow us. Anyways we do fun videos going over hair tips, trends, and products that we love.

This blog will feature fun hair topics and also everything from beauty tips, meditations we love, health and fitness, and just about everything! I’d love to hear from all of you too, drop a comment on a topic you would like to read about. Seriously anything you’ve ever wanted to ask a hairstylist about, or just think would be a great topic, let us know.

Now that all of the introductions are out of the way, let’s get back to those Christmas cookies! Ya’ll don’t even know how much I love my cookies! We all have that one weakness around holidays that we can’t resist. It’s like kryptonite to Superman, we know its bad but Hey it’s the holidays! But then New Years sneaks up on us and BAM it’s time to cast away the folly of indulging in your favorite treats and set some new goals and get down to business.

“Success is goals, and all else is commentary” -Lloyd Conant

So here we are, ready to make some new goals, or New Year resolutions. Some may be getting back into shape (that’s my personal goal) or crushing a business goal at work, or maybe it’s just to stop and smell the roses more in life. Whatever it is I have some tips for you to stay on track, and be able to stay focused long after February.

I’ve been reading some material on goals lately and I’ve learned some really easy things to implement into my goal setting that kind of hit me like Whoa! How come I never thought of that? Thank goodness other people have because they are so helpful in visualizing and forming a plan to stay moving. Something I found rather interesting is an author wrote “goals without action are just wishes”. So how do you take a wish and turn it into a goal that is achievable? Make it a SMART goal.

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time Sensitive

See that, smart isn’t it? LOL

So, when you are thinking about your New Years Resolution and what you want to come out of 2019 try using this method to clearly lay out what you want to achieve. Ask yourself these questions. Is it specific enough? Can I measure my progress or results? Is this achievable in the time frame I give myself or realistically at all? Is it relevant to your life goal, or 5-year plan? And what’s your deadline? 2020? 2021?

Every year all of us at LG Howard write a personal goal, and a professional goal using the SMART system. When I sit to think about what I want to achieve in the next year, using this system helps me to make sure I’m on the right track. The next thing to do is make an action plan

-What do I need to accomplish this?
-What do I need to learn to accomplish this? -Who can help me accomplish this?
-What’s my first step? Second, and so on

That’s really important, to map it out per say. It will help you create a solid foundation. Goals can get overwhelming, trust me I know. So many times, I have blindly made a resolution on New Years Eve after not even giving it much thought, and on January 1st already given up!! Pathetic I know but remember goals without action are just wishes. Another important tool is having someone that you can ask for help. A mentor, a friend, or co-worker. Someone that has either experience relating to your goal, or can provide contacts or direction to someone who does. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I hope you all enjoyed, and hopefully I got you fired up to take names and kick butt in 2019! I’d love to hear some of your resolutions, drop them in the comments below. May this year be our best year yet!

Ashley

Posted on January 2, 2019 .