5 Life-Changing Books

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I am that woman with nine books on her nightstand. I read every night before bed; whether it be a magazine, fiction story, or self-help book. Subjecting myself to someone else’s words calms my mind, and opens my heart. The books listed below have been my go-to reads, especially when I am feeling anxious, unhappy, worried, or upset. I hope they bring you the tranquility that they bring me.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

I have read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom four times. The four agreements are:

      • Be impeccable with your word.
      • Don’t take anything personally.
      • Don’t make assumptions.
      • Always do your best.

Don Miguel Ruiz writes based on ancient Toltec wisdom. His words are powerful and have taught me so many great lessons.  I find myself saying, “Always do your best. Your best changes at every given time.” I also find myself speaking more honestly and openly with my words. This book has truly transformed my life by practicing the four agreements and integrating his principles into my life.

Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer

Let me preface this paragraph with the notion that I was raised Italian Catholic, but as I grew older I became more spiritual. I believe in God, but I do not attend formal religious services.

I have had debilitating anxiety in the past, and have to work very hard each day to not return to living a life with panic attacks. When my best friend, Lauren, gave me Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind, I handed it back to her and said, “You know, I’m really not into Christian Living books, Laur. Thanks anyway.” She placed it down on the table and replied, “I think you should read the section on anxiety. I’m giving the book to you. Do with it what you will.”

I have read the chapter titled “An Anxious and Worried Mind” close to one-hundred times. I have highlighted sections and dog-eared the pages. Joyce writes,

“It is impossible to worry and live in peace at the same time.”

I appreciate the biblical references and that Joyce ties them into real-life. For a woman who “wasn’t into” Christian Living books, Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind has a special place on my nightstand.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I love Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail have read it twice and always refer back to my highlighted sections. Cheryl Strayed words make me feel empowered. She didn’t know what she was going to experience on the PCT. She didn’t have the appropriate gear. She lost her mom. Her marriage had ended. She transformed in the wild. She tackled what seemed impossible. She challenged herself and succeeded. Fear wasn’t a limiting factor.

One of my favorite excerpts:

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – Gary Chapman

Gary Chapman explains the five love languages and how knowing our spouses love language can transform a marriage in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.

The 5 Love Languages

      • Words of Affirmation
      • Quality Time
      • Receiving Gifts
      • Acts of Service
      • Physical Touch

Can anyone guess what my love language is?

Acts of Service. I appreciate and feel loved when my husband does things without me having to ask him, and when he sees that I am exhausted. I remind him that acts of service are my love language. The funny thing is, acts of service is also his love language. We better get servicing each other to stay happy!

Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be by HeatherAsh Amara

I bought this deal on Amazon Prime day and couldn’t be happier. HeatherAsh Amara understands the life of a modern woman. We have so many balls flying in the air that it is impossible to keep them all spinning. The others we may catch, or they might drop. Such is life. Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be provides growth, whether spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, you will grow. I loved the questions and reflections she prompts you to complete in the book. I recommend you have a pen and paper to engage with her introspective exercises.

An excerpt: “While we cannot control life, we do have a choice in how we respond to what life brings and how we react.” – HeatherAsh Amara, Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be

Final Thoughts

What are your favorite books to read and why? Leave me a comment below!

Namaste.

5 Life-Changing Books

 

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Get Your Elements – Real Food for Real People

After completing the Whole 30 late last year, I discovered I had food intolerances to dairy and gluten. As most of you know from my previous posts, I partake in a mostly dairy and gluten free diet. Unfortunately, I find meal preparation to be one of the most difficult things about eating clean, so I appreciate any quick fix foods that are compliant with my intolerances and make me feel as fabulous as I really am. I am also training for a half marathon, so eating healthy is very important to me during my training.

Enter Elements, a company selling real food, in a bag.

WHAT? Real food? In a bag?

I have to admit, I was super skeptical getting a bag of freeze dried food in the mail. Little did I know that freeze drying only removes the water and leaves the vitamins, micronutrients, enzymes, and taste of the actual food behind.

Get Your Elements

Get Your Elements

Elements bags also have a 2-year shelf life and don’t require a microwave or stove top. All you have to do is tear the bag and add 1 cup of very hot water. Seal the zipper and shake well. Wait 12 minutes, open the bag, stir, and enjoy!

Need a bowl? Tear the bag at the lower hash-line.

So, what’s in the bag of Elements?

  • Fresh herbs
  • Sensational Spices
  • Delicious Taste
  • Self-Respect

 

Get Your Elements Review

Freeze dried deliciousness

 

What’s not in the bag?

  • Preservatives
  • Artificial Colors & Flavors
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Processed Sugars
  • Shame
  • Guilt

 

What I Sampled

  • Broccoli Cinnamon Pork
    • Thoughts: Delicious. I love the combo – pulled pork is tender, the broccoli and squash are cooked perfectly, and you definitely taste the cinnamon. This was the easiest pulled pork and vegetable recipe I have ever made, and certainly tasted the best! 
  • Tuscan Chicken Pomodoro
    • Thoughts: Take me to Tuscany! I love the balsamic vinegar flavor throughout. There was a little excess water after 12 minutes, but it didn’t impact the dish. The chicken was soft and tender, and the tomatoes and onions were covered in the delicious herbs and spices. This was super yummy; my Nonna would be proud!

Other Elements

  • Maple Mustard Pork
  • Sesame Garlic Chicken
  • Chipotle Turkey Scramble

Thoughts

Elements are super simple to make and absolutely delicious! I love eating clean, and in 12 minutes I have a hot, delicious meal that fuels my body for or after a long run. I never would have imagined freeze dried food would taste so good!

Elements are great for anyone on the go who wants to eat well – perfect for busy moms, athletes, people who work long hours…or if I am on a long hike!

Elements has the perfect amount of calories, protein, carbs, and fats! Each bag is anywhere from 270-310 calories, just the right amount for a meal!

Get Your Elements Review

Kickstarter

Elements is on Kickstarter! One bag of Elements retails for $11.99 USD. During the Kickstarter campaign, you can get your Elements at a cheaper price, depending on how many you would like to purchase. Make your pledge today!

Elements Giveaway

Rules: Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the continental USA. Winner must provide name, address, e-mail, and phone number within 24 hours of the close of the giveaway or another winner will be selected. You will receive a sampler pack of Elements ($60 value) at the end of their Kickstarter Campaign. Giveaway begins on 8/14/17 at 12:00 AM and ends 8/28/17 at 12:00 AM.

Enter the Elements Giveaway!

Make sure you visit Elements on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Namaste.

Disclosure: Two bags of Elements were sent complimentary for review purposes. All opinions within are my own. If you are interested in having your products featured on Realm of Vibes, fill out the form on the Contact page. 

 

 

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Homemade Mouthwash Using Essential Oils

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission to help sustain Realm of Vibes. Thanks for your support!

I love my smile. And, I don’t hate the dentist because I know that good dental care begins at home. Besides using doTERRA’s On Guard toothpaste, I rinse with mouthwash and floss one to two times a day. Since I became a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, I have been experimenting with creating my own self-care products.

Let me ask you: have you read the label to your mouthwash bottle lately? My mouthwash bottle contained a bright green solution with indecipherable words except Yellow 5 and Blue 1. Why am I using this?, I thought.

So, I decided to make my own, all-natural mouthwash.

What you Need

All-Natural Mouthwash

Directions

  • Add 1 cup of distilled or purified water to the glass bottle.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil
    • Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal properties.
    • I love the way coconut oil lines my teeth during oil pulling, and I feel that it helps protect my teeth in my mouthwash.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt
    • Salt has soothing properties and can help whiten your teeth.
  • Add 20 drops of doTERRA essential oil
    • Get creative! I used Peppermint & On-Guard but you could use tea tree oil, cinnamon, lemon, wild orange, clove, or myrrh. Find what works for you.
  • Close and shake the bottle vigorously.
  • Open the bottle, take a swig and swish/gargle for 30 seconds. Spit it out in the sink.
  • Feel good about using an all-natural mouthwash.

Note: Some people add baking soda for extra cleansing and whitening. Sometimes I add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, sometimes I don’t.

Where to get your doTERRA Essential Oils

doTERRA has Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils, which means there are no impurities in the bottle. A bottle of lavender contains lavender. A bottle of lemon contains lemon. Nothing more, nothing less. All of doTERRA’s products are responsibly and ethically sourced from countries around the world.

I would love to help you get started with doTERRA.

Please visit my shop, here, and click “SHOP” to make a retail purchase, or “JOIN & SAVE” to become a Wholesale Customer or Wellness Advocate.

Contact me at realmofvibesdg@gmail.com with any questions!

Namaste.

Homemade Mouthwash Using Essential Oils

 

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Take a Hike (with These 6 Items)

This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission which helps sustain Realm of Vibes. Thanks for your support.

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind, and find my soul.” – Unknown

I started hiking about seven years ago. When I met my husband, he took me to several state parks in New Jersey. My husband grew up in the country, so he had all the gear required for an easy to moderate hike. For example, he had hiking shoes while I wore regular sneakers. He had hiking pants where I wore leggings. He wore a backpack that carried necessities like food and water, and I carried a hand bag with my cell phone and wallet. (Little did I know there was no service in the middle of the woods and that there were no purchases to be made).

After blisters and bitching, he took me shopping for some hiking gear. The gear I have collected in the past seven years has gotten me through shorter, easy hikes as well as long, strenuous hikes like Cascade and Porter Mountain, two of the 46 High Peaks. I hope the gear helps you as much as it has helped me…

Hiking Boots

I have two pairs of hiking boots.

  1. Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

These boots are not lightweight, but waterproof, and give me my ankles the stability they need to get through a strenuous, super rocky hike. I wear these for a more difficult, moderate hike.

2. Oboz Women’s Sawtooth Low Bdry Hiking Shoe

I have a new found respect for Oboz. My husband left my Merrell’s home by accident on our latest Lake Placid trip, so I had to purchase a new pair of hiking boots to do Cascade and Porter mountains. Oboz are lightweight, breathable, and waterproof.

Hiking Socks

No more blisters or sweaty, nasty feet! I wear Smartwool Women’s Hiking Light Crew Socks. These are a game changer!

Hiking Pants

I purchased the Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Stretch Convertible Pant which is super casual, comfortable and converts into shorts. These trail pants are also stain and sun resistant. I feel that they resist sweat much better than leggings and move more comfortably and easier than jeans.

Hiking Backpack

My husband and I wanted a unisex backpack as we usually alternate the pack throughout the hike. We selected the Gonex Polar Trekking Daypack. It has a 40L capacity, comes with a waterproof cover, and easily holds everything we need for a day hike. The straps are easy to adjust and it fits both my husbands tall, muscular build and my shorter stature without issue. 

Water Bottle

I bring plenty of water when I hike. The most important thing is that the vessel in which the water is held keeps the water cold. For that reason, I use the Contigo Autoseal Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle.

Food

Often times, when my husband and I reach the summit, we enjoy a few snacks. We sit and take in the scenery and acknowledge what we accomplished on our way to the top. (We also snap a few pictures!) I enjoy a few different snacks including Chocolate Chip Clif Bars, and Chomps 100% Grass Fed Beef Jerky Sticks. These give us enough energy to get back down the mountain.

Final Thoughts

I hope that next time you go on a hiking adventure, you remember to bring some of these items with you.

If you hike, what is your favorite item to wear or bring? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Namaste.

Take a Hike

 

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The best Dog Bed in the World

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Outer Banks, North Carolina: Things to See & Do

I always wanted to visit the Outer Banks in North Carolina. This year, we were able to rent a beautiful house, directly on the beach in Nags Head. It was exactly what I needed to enjoy some much needed R&R. While I did spend most of my time on the beach, I compiled a short list of some of the things I did and places I visited while I was on vacation.

Miss Oregon Inlet Fishing Charter

I love fishing charters, especially since I caught the most fish! The weather was absolutely beautiful for a half day of fishing. The Miss Oregon Inlet boat was very well maintained and the crew was nothing but polite and helpful. Make sure you bring a cooler with water and plenty of sunscreen.

Roanoke Island

Roanoke Island was a great place to visit. It reminds me of Cape May, New Jersey. It has plenty of hotels and bed and breakfast inns. They have quaint little stores for shopping, and plenty of restaurants. My husband and I took a nice long walk along the waterfront, where beautiful boats are docked. Next time we visit we would love to see the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Elizabethan Gardens, and the North Carolina Aquarium.

Lost Colony Brewery & Cafe

Jason and I love craft beers. We visited Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe on Roanoke Island. I particularly liked the Kitty Hawk Blonde and the Stumpy Point Pale Ale. Another reason why I loved Lost Colony is that they use the leftover grain from the brewery and combine it with flour, chicken broth and love to create Brew Chew dog treats. For every bag you purchase, Lost Colony donates $1.00 to the local SPCA! Jason and I were a little hungry, so we ordered hot wings with bleu cheese dressing and they were very good.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

I love history. Visiting where Wilbur and Orville Wright camped and first took to the air in 1903 was an awesome experience. I walked up the Big Kill Devil Hill to see their monument commemorating their historic achievement. Insider tip: This exhibit it outside and we went on a super hot day; bring water and good walking shoes. 

Outer Banks Brewing Station

After sweating profusely at the Wright Brothers Memorial, we went to the Outer Banks Brewing Station for some craft brews. My favorite was the Straight Ahead Summer Stout, which tasted chocolatey and delicious. I like that they have a “backyard” area where you could play cornhole while you wait for your table.

The Comedy Club 

I have to be completely honest, I had really low expectations of a comedy show in a hotel auditorium. I was pleasantly surprised and was really happy with the show! I laughed my butt off! It was actually better than most comedy shows I have been to in New York City and Atlantic City, NJ. Drink prices were great, too. Beer was $3 a bottle and wine was $5 a glass. I strongly recommend that you purchase your tickets; you will have a great time and support artists performing live entertainment.

And finally….

THE BEACH

Relax. Unwind. Take a long walk. Read a book or magazine. Go for a dip. Collect seashells. Whatever you do when you visit the Outer Banks, make sure you get your Vitamin D and visit the beach!

Outer Banks, North Carolina: Things to See & Do

 

Have you visited the Outer Banks? What was your favorite thing to do?

Namaste.