5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Occupied

*This post contains affiliate links.

When we took Bailey to obedience training, the trainer stressed the importance of keeping her both mentally and physically stimulated for her optimal wellness. Dog owners know that when your dog is bored, destruction occurs…like finding a pillow de-stuffed or chewed coffee table corners. Bailey has a crate with a variety of toys and chews, but the ones listed below are some of my favorite items to keep her and the foster dogs entertained:

Himalayan Chews

The Himalayan yak chews are amazing. I buy the real Himalayan dog chewsthat are sourced from Nepal. (They have a fair-trade agreement with the farmers and are naturally sourced.) These yak chews are very hard, and dogs must soften them with their saliva before chewing a piece off. Bailey and my foster dogs will spend HOURS licking and biting little pieces off of the hard chew. I would strongly recommend these being eaten outside or on a surface that can be cleaned. What I love about Himalayan chews is that there is no waste. When a small piece remains, heat it in the microwave and it becomes a yummy yak puff.

Bully Sticks

The only penis my dog will ever nibble on… I purchase the Redbarn 7-Inch Braided Bully Sticks. I prefer the braided bully sticks since they are more difficult for the dogs to break apart. These are softer and more pliable than the Himalayan chews, but still a tasty treat to occupy Fido. I would have to say that this is Bailey’s favorite treat.

KONG Dog Toy

KONG Toys toys are multi-purpose and a great investment. I sometimes put treats inside (your dog must roll the KONG around to get the treats out), or freeze peanut butter or water for a tasty treat. You can also make mealtime interactive by placing kibble inside the KONG. I appreciate that KONG toys can be easily cleaned and are relatively inexpensive.

Tug-a-Jug

Bailey HATES this toy. She gets SO frustrated; however, my foster dogs usually LOVE the Tug-A-Jug, and often show Bailey how it’s done. Take small treats and put them in the jug. Fido’s job is to tug and manipulate the jug to get the treat. Bailey has turned this toy into a chew toy (she tries to bite through the rope), but the foster dogs are motivated to get the treat. It is a great brain teaser and keeps them mentally stimulated.

Dogit GUMI Dental Dog Toy

Bailey has been a chewer since we rescued her almost three years ago. She has chewed through things that have claimed to be “indestructible,” so I didn’t have high hopes for this toy. The Dogit GUMI Dental Dog Toy surpassed my expectations. She absolutely loved chewing the edges and ripping apart the middle section to get to the plastic part inside. (Pictured is the Floss version, I get the 360 Clean version). On the 360 Clean version, there is a treat pouch that you can freeze for teething puppies or add Fido’s favorite treats for added motivation. Besides keeping her and the foster dogs busy, the GUMI Dental Dog Toy helps floss and remove plaque from her teeth. This toy has provided hours of entertainment!

Final Thoughts

These are my top five items that have helped occupy Bailey and my foster dogs. An occupied dog is a happy dog.

What are your go-to items to keep your dog’s mentally and physically stimulated?

Namaste.

adobe-spark-28

Be sure to like, comment, share, and enter my giveaway for a Vision Words sticky note pack: click here

My House Stinks: How I Naturally Control the Animal Smell

*This post contains affiliate links and a sponsored item.

Having three animals (sometimes four with a foster dog) live in our home can make for a pretty stinky house. My husband and I have an intense cleaning regimen (lots of laundry and vacuuming!) to keep the stench at bay. After we are done cleaning, we have discovered some easy ways to add natural and safe aromas to our home:

Candles

20170209_121933

I’m pretty picky with the candles that are in my home. Many candles emit harmful toxins into the air, causing medical issues over long term use. Seeking OM sent me a soy wax, hand poured, crystal infused candle. It is rose scented through natural essential oils and has no dyes or fillers. This candle stimulates the Heart chakra and represents love, self-love, and relationships. Seeking OM offers a variety of candle sizes (6 oz., 12 oz., and 24 oz.) and scents (cedarwood, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, and patchouli). The rose scent smells like a bouquet of flowers, and really made the entryway near my kitchen very fragrant. The kitchen is the heart of the house, and when something good isn’t cooking, we always have this candle lit.

Smudge Stick

I try to smudge my house on a weekly basis. I light a sage smudge stick, open a window, and venture from room to room to purify the air. Smudging brings clarity, harmony, and love. It rids any negative vibes. Sage is used for healing (sage tea is great to soothe sore throats). The scent is overpowering and lingers, but smells clean and removes any bad odors. I use the New Age smudge sticks below:

Stovetop Aromatherapy

You can Pinterest or Google stovetop aromatherapy and find a million different recipes for creating a natural home fragrance that is inexpensive, easy, and inexpensive. Start with a saucepan and add:

  • 2-4 cups of water
  • Slices of ginger, lemon, lime, orange, or apple
  • Cinnamon sticks or vanilla
  • Herbs: rosemary, bay leaves, cloves

Play around with the different varieties to find your perfect scent. Turn on the stove and let it simmer. Within an hour, your house will smell fresh and clean. I include Simply Organic Cinnamon Sticks below.

Reed Diffuser

I use the SunLeaf reed diffusers that are made in the USA, and free of synthetic dyes, chemical fragrances, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and petrochemicals. They do not test on animals. There scents are blends of essential oils, which can provide therapeutic benefit. I typically put reed diffusers in my office and laundry room. My favorite is the lemon/vetiver combination below.

Final Thoughts

It makes us proud when people come over and say, “Wow, it smells really good in here! It doesn’t smell like you have animals!” Maintaining our cleaning schedule is paramount, but adding all natural scents helps make our house feel like a home.

So, my lovely readers, what do you use in your home? How important is it for you to use natural products?

Until next time…

Namaste.

Disclosure:  I received a candle from Seeking OM in return for a featured post on Realm of Vibes and social media platforms. All opinions and views within are authentic. Have you considered featuring your business or service on Realm of Vibes? Please visit my Collaborate page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started.

Realm of Vibes is hosting a Vision Words giveaway — enter here

Vision Words GIVEAWAY!

I am a self-proclaimed sticky-a-holic. I leave honey-do lists for my husband and use them at work to remind myself to complete progress notes or write doctor’s orders. If my coworkers are having a bad day, I leave love notes on their computer. I came across Vision Words, which are sticky notes with affirmations, mantras, motivational quotes, and scriptures.

Vision Words sticky note packs include:

  • Be Happy
  • Believe In Yourself
  • Fitness
  • Gratitude
  • Love
  • Scriptures of Faith
  • Scriptures of Encouragement
  • Success

vw

Martha Banks Hall, the creator of Vision Words, sent me Success and Gratitude sticky-note packs. They couldn’t have come at a better time. As I expressed to Martha, life has given my husband and me many successes and reasons to be grateful. My husband, who is a law enforcement officer, is leaving a department he served for 10+ years to advance his career with a county office. I am so proud of his successes and accomplishments.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with amazing companies, interact with incredible people, and have my blog as a creative outlet to showcase my passion, writing. I wake up blessed and have gratitude for all of my wonderful opportunities.

20170209_094539

I used a Vision Words sticky on the coffee maker, where my husband always ventures first thing in the morning. I put another one on his after-shave. He texted me and reported, “Thanks for the sticky notes, babe!” My small acts of kindness show my husband that I love and care about him. I am happy when he is happy.

20170209_095745

Martha and I live the same truth. We both feel that the power of positive words can transform and reshape your life. Sometimes, the littlest thing, like a Vision Words sticky note can make you stop, think, reflect, and have a new outlook on life.

The sticky notes are great to put in places where people would least expect them – a parking meter, in a library book, on a subway wall, windshield of a car, your neighbor’s mailbox, or a locker at the gym. You could also put them where people would expect them, like a steering wheel, microwave, on a coffee mug, or cell phone.

20170209_112951

Some examples in the Success and Gratitude packs include:

  • Take Action
  • Take Advantage of Each and Every Opportunity
  • Get Out There and Be a Success
  • Grateful Before the Blessings Arrive
  • Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart

Each pack has fifty, 3 x 3 inch sheets and retails for $6.95 USD. (If you purchase the collection, the price is discounted.)

Get excited, readers! Realm of Vibes is hosting its first giveaway! Enter below to win a Vision Words sticky note pack. Contest begins on February 13, 2017 at 6:00 AM and ends February 27, 2017 at 12:00 AM.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Visit Vision Words on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Disclosure: I received a sample pack from Vision Words in return for a featured post on Realm of Vibes and social media platforms. All opinions and views within are authentic. Have you considered featuring your business or service on Realm of Vibes? Please visit my Collaborate page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started.

Calm, Patient, and Seeking OM

I had a Buddha of Abundance break into a million pieces on my desk. It was the topic of the day. I was the laughing stock. Buddha couldn’t handle my stress. He wasn’t feeling my vibe. You could imagine how I felt when I received the Howlite and Ganesh gemstone bracelet from Seeking OM. I wasn’t sure if it was going to shatter as soon as I donned it on my wrist. I chuckled as I read the description:

  • Color: white with grey veining
  • Aides: a calming stone, antidote to insomnia due to an overactive mind, formulates ambitions, both spiritual and material, and aids in achieving them. Teaches patience, eliminates rage and uncontrolled anger.
  • Chakra: Crown, located at the top of the head, is the state of pure consciousness
  • Ganesh: Hindu God, Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles, both material and spiritual

howlite

When I was a child, I was an insomniac. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and play Sega Genesis into the wee hours of the morning. When I was done playing video games, I would read and write for hours. Mornings were terrible. As I got older, different stresses made sleeping even more impossible. It wasn’t until I got married, had a stable job, and moved into the middle of nowhere that I was finally able to sleep through the night. On occasion, I will toss and turn, become restless and antsy, causing my husband to turn over and say, “Turn it off, Danielle!” He means my mind. He knows I am thinking about my to-do list, or the foster dog, or my blog, or work. What I discovered from receiving this gemstone bracelet is that Howlite is a calming stone, that can be placed under the pillow to help insomnia. Next time I can’t sleep, this gemstone bracelet will be my new best friend.

Scott and Kae, owners of Seeking OM, read my mind. I often wear the Howlite and Ganesh gemstone bracelet to work, where my patience can be tested by the non-compliant patient, the disgruntled nurse, or the unhappy doctor. Any profession where you interact with people can be trying. I joke with my coworkers, “I have no patience for my patients.” The Howlite and Ganesh bracelet serves as a reminder to be cool, calm and collected.

20170203_172434

For those of you that don’t know, Seeking OM, is a Boston based artisan company. Their jewelry, for both men and women, can heal the 7 chakras and can empower you to be the best version of yourself. Seeking OM’s bracelets range from $25-33 USD, and can be customized by stone, style, and size. Seeking OM also sells malas and candles.

The detailing in the Howlite and Ganesh gemstone bracelet is exquisite. I loved the marbled look, the gorgeous Swarovski crystals, and the Ganesh pendant, which I enjoy dangling from my wrist, knowing that he helps remove obstacles from my path. I wear it on my left wrist, because it picks up the bling from my engagement ring and wedding band. (Don’t mind my pasty white hand and unmanicured nails!)

20170203_172635

In case you were wondering, Seeking OM’s Howlite and Ganesh bracelet didn’t shatter when I donned it on my wrist. In fact, it spoke to me. It gave me relief and a calming cue; “Take a deep breath, this too shall pass.”

Read my last Seeking OM post – Amethyst & Ganesh

Visit Seeking OM to explore more gemstone jewelry, malas, and candles. Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram, and Pinterest. Shop small, live large.

Disclosure:  I received gemstone jewelry from Seeking OM in return for a featured post on Realm of Vibes and social media platforms. All opinions and views within are authentic. Have you considered featuring your business or service on Realm of Vibes? Please visit my Collaborate page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started. Namaste.

seekingom

 

 

In a Nutshell

20170203_173532

I grew up on bars. All kinds, really, – granola, nut, fruit…My mom would buy them in bulk at Costco and pack them into our lunch bags and backpacks. She would have several in her handbag, and store them in the glove compartment of all our cars. “You never want to be cold or hungry,” she would say as my sister and I were running out the door to meet with friends or rushing to arrive at the next extracurricular activity.

I also grew up wanting to be a food critic. I used to read restaurant and product reviews on new places and food items and think, “Why can’t I do that?” So thanks, Nutshell, for making my dream come true and making my mom happy that I have followed in her footsteps by stuffing your nut bars into every pocket, purse and facet of my life.

20170203_173751

This week Realm of Vibes has had the pleasure of reviewing  Nutshell bars. They are hand-crafted in Connecticut and are sold in bakeries, cafes, and farmer’s markets. Nutshell bars are also sold online (shipped to your door in 2-3 days) by packs of 12. Here is the  Nutshell nitty gritty:

  • All bars are: Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Eco-friendly packaging: fully compostable cellulose material
  • Each bar is 2.3 oz (65g)
  • 5 flavors: Java, Devil’s Detox, Peanut Butter & Banana, Big Fig, Chipotle
  • Best kept in the refrigerator for optimal freshness
  • Motto: Fresh, Nutritious, Delicious

Nutshell bars have complemented my morning coffee as I blog on the weekend, are awesome to take as a pick-me-up on a long hike, and are an excellent meal replacement when taking a lunch isn’t a reality. Nutritional information is located on the website – each bar is approximately 320 calories.

20170203_173915

Here are the highlights of the four Nutshell bars I received:

Java

Crunchy with intense cinnamon flavor. Loved getting the pop of espresso bean and the hint of coconut with the almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews. Perfectly salted. Not too sweet, and perfect with my morning coffee. Hands down my favorite Nutshell bar.

Devil’s Detox

The cashews and cranberries really stand out in this one; I wish it had a thicker layer of chocolate spread (you can never have too much chocolate). I like how this includes flax seed, the ultimate detox ingredient.

Peanut Butter & Banana

I love peanut butter. It’s second best, only to chocolate. Whenever I make a protein shake, I add a scoop of peanut butter and a banana. This was incredibly delicious, softer than the other bars, but still firm and crunchy. This was absolutely fabulous, and Bailey smelled the goodness as soon as I took the Nutshell bar out of the fridge.

Big Fig

This bar made me feel nostalgic. My Nonno has many fig trees and my Nonna always made sure that when I left her house, I would leave with a big bag of figs. This bar was crunchy, had nice chunks of sweet fig that blended well with the cashews, almonds, and walnuts. Yum!

20170207_171848

In a Nutshell:

  • Absolutely delicious; whether on the go or for a sit-down breakfast the taste is unbeatable
  • I wish the nutritional information was on the packaging.
  • With shipping, Nutshell bars costs approximately $4 each. My health is paramount. I fuel my body with fresh, nutritious ingredients. The Nutshell bars serve as my meal replacement and give me the energy to sustain my lifestyle.
  • I love the compostable packaging and support companies that are environmentally friendly. (I compost and recycle!)
  • The flavor combinations and texture are on fleek. Nutshell bars don’t crumble and taste great a little cold from the fridge or at room temperature. You could also crumble your Nutshell bar on top of yogurt.

Nutshell, you get 5 stars, hands down! Be sure to shop small, and live large. Visit  Nutshell, follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

img_20170207_074628_711-1

Disclosure: I received a sample pack from Nutshell in return for a featured post on Realm of Vibes and social media platforms. All opinions and views within are authentic. Have you considered featuring your business or service on Realm of Vibes? Please visit my Collaborate page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started.