Take a Hike (with These 6 Items)

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“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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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.

 

 

Ruff Rescue Rope Review

If you look in my coat closet, you will see an arsenal of leashes. I have a leash for every scenario and size ranging from a 3-foot leather leash to a 100-foot para cord for when Bailey wants to take a dip in the water during a hike. Selecting a leash that “does it all” can be confusing, aggravating, and an expense!

Ruff Rescue Rope is the most versatile leash I have ever owned. Ruff Rescue Rope eliminates the hassle of tangled leashes and buying multiple accessories for your dog(s). One leash can do it all!

Ruff Rescue Rope

Ruff Rescue Rope offers:

  • 10-foot Multi-Function Leash (hands-free, slip lead, double leash)
  • 10-foot Multi-Function Leash  (hands-free, slip lead, double leash, harness)
  • Regular 10-foot leash
  • 6-foot Multi-Function Leash (hands-free, double leash, slip lead)
  • 6-foot hands-free leash (slip lead, hands-free)
  • Regular 6-foot leash
  • 6-foot Training Slip Lead
  • Multi-function harness (No-pull harness, traffic lead)

Ruff Rescue Rope

Ruff Rescue Rope gives back, too. For every 20 leashes sold, Ruff Rescue Rope pays the adoption fee for a dog out of the shelter and pairs them with a veteran suffering from PTSD or in need of a companion.

Ruff Rescue Rope

Ruff Rescue Rope leashes are made from rock climbing rope which is extra-strong, waterproof and durable. It will last more than twice as long as a regular leash.

Ruff Rescue Rope leashes are very easy to clean. Simply rinse the rope with warm water and swish it around in a mesh bag and continue to clean until the water is clear. Hang to dry away from sunlight and you’re ready to go!

Review

I received the Ruff Rescue Rope 10-foot Multi-Function Leash that transforms into a hands-free leash, slip lead and double leash. The price is $34.99 USD.

Ruff Rescue Rope is excellent; I loved using it as a regular leash, a slip lead, and a hands-free leash. Although I do have an arsenal of leashes, I did not have a 10-foot leash, which is perfect to practice recall and for hiking.

Ruff Rescue Rope

Ruff Rescue Rope is one of the strongest, most durable leashes I own. I would trust this leash over any others for intense hikes, walks, or runs. After a muddy hike, it was very easy to clean in a mesh bag.

I like how Ruff Rescue Rope is environmentally friendly, too. You can learn how to adjust the leashes by watching the tutorials. I am not an auditory/visual learner, but it was fine since I could pause and replay as much as I needed.  I also came up with my own hands-free, double leash creation. The Ruff Rescue Rope is easy to adjust and change from one leash setting to another.

Ruff Rescue Rope

I would strongly recommend purchasing a leash from Ruff Rescue Rope. Not only will you thoroughly enjoy your leash, but you will help a dog get out of a shelter and go with a veteran. Thank you, Ruff Rescue Rope!

Make sure you follow Ruff Rescue Rope on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Ruff Rescue Rope gave me a 10-foot Multi-Function Leash complimentary in return for a review on Realm of Vibes and social media. All opinions within are my own. If you are interested in your products being featured on Realm of Vibes, please visit my Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com for details. 

 

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Milestones for Grown-Ups: Life is a Journey

I call my mom every day when I commute to work. She is my best friend. She is the woman who wrote down every developmental milestone into my baby book. She will still brag about how I was potty trained and walking at 12 months. No one could ever be more proud of me and my accomplishments.

Milestones are an interesting concept; they represent a notable point in one’s development. Some children and adults follow a typical path, while others stray far from the norm. Regardless, everyone has a different journey.

 

Today’s review features Milestones for Grown-ups, an Australian based company bringing you 20 unique milestone cards for adults entering their 20s and 30s. Anna, the creator of Milestones for Grown-ups, realized that babies and toddlers were having all of the fun celebrating developmental milestones, but older folks never received any recognition for hitting adult milestones. (Graduating college, anyone?) The postcard size, environmentally-friendly cards are intended to be used as photo props to share with family and friends on social media to document adult milestones.

Two sets of Milestones for Grown-ups cards are available for purchase:

  • Milestones for your 20’s:
    • I finally bought myself ________. (you fill in the blank)
    • Graduation Day
    • I am a Quarter of a Century Old
    • I got a job!
    • Yes! I cooked this!
    • I am moving out!
  • Milestones for your 30’s:
    • I found my first grey hair.
    • I paid off my student loan.
    • I ran a marathon.
    • Today I was called madam/sir (circle one) by a teenager.
    • Actually…I am doing quite well.
    • My new tattoo.

Milestones for Grown-ups

Each deck is $29.95 AUS (About $23 for my United States readers at the current exchange rate at the time of writing this post). Australian shipping is free; other shipping runs $5-$8 AUS.

My Thoughts

Life is to be celebrated. I always say, “Every day I wake up is a good day.” Am I right?

I reflected on my 20s earlier this year when I turned 30. I hit so many milestones in my twenties. I do wish I had the “Yes! I cooked this!” card from the 20s pack since I successfully cooked a whole chicken the other day. I ordered one by mistake on my supermarket online order and I called my mom to ask her, “What the hell do I do with this thing? I wanted a rotisserie chicken, not a whole chicken!” My mom giggled and told me to get out my roasting pan (buried in the back of my cabinet) and to make sure I take the giblets out. (Thanks, Mom!) My chicken and potato dish came out fantastic. I was so proud that I accomplished cooking something that I normally wouldn’t attempt. Mistakes can be a good thing. 

Milestones for Grown-ups understands that everyone hits different milestones at different times. For some of us, we never hit them. And, that’s okay. The Milestones for Grown-ups cards can be used at any life stage, and make terrific gifts for those turning 20 or 30.

Milestones for Grown-ups

The “I ran a marathon” card looks daunting, however, I am going to scribble a “1/2” in front of marathon and will proudly hold up that card after my mom and I complete our first half marathon in October. Isn’t it a little ironic that the woman who wrote down all of my developmental milestones will be accomplishing a huge fitness milestone with me? It’s never too late to reach your goals. 

I can’t wait for the day to hold up the “I paid off my student loan” card. I pass by that card really quickly in the deck, as I currently have another 2.5 years left. (I accept any and all donations.)

“Actually…I am doing quite well!” is my favorite card. Wherever you are in life, be proud of yourself. I am proud that I can hold up the “I am starting my own business” card since I became a doTERRA Wellness Advocate this year and Realm of Vibes is doing well with reviewing products for small businesses like Milestones for Grown-ups. I have a wonderful husband and family, a fulfilling career, and love my very blessed life.

Milestones for Grown-ups

Let’s see how many Milestones for Grown-ups I can accomplish the next ten years…

Who is with me?

Namaste.

Make sure you visit Milestones for Grown-ups on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Milestones for Grown-Ups

Disclosure: I received Milestones for your 30’s in return for an honest review and promotion on my social media sites. All opinions within are my own. Realm of Vibes is looking for small businesses to feature; if you are interested please fill out the form on the Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com for more details. 

Hello Fresh Food Subscription Review

I am a woman who is easily tempted by a coupon code. I am also that woman who orders her groceries online because setting foot in a supermarket, although a necessary evil, is not my cup of tea. Most of the time, I don’t feel like being creative with dinner, so after I was able to secure a coupon code for Hello Fresh, three dinners for two people came to $40. What a steal!

Food subscriptions are a new rage. Hello Fresh is a food delivery service that ships dinners right to your door. You can choose from the Classic (meat and fish), Vegetarian, or Family plan for either 2 or 4 persons.

Our Classic Carnivore menu consisted of:

  • Juicy Lucy Burgers
    • 840 calories
    • 10-minute prep
    • 40-minute total time
  • Zesty Crusted Catfish
    • 650 calories
    • 5-minute prep
    • 30-minute total time
  • Gremolata Strip Steak
    • 880 calories
    • 10-minute prep
    • 40-minute total time

These are the 3 meals we chose out of 8 offered options.

Hello Fresh is packaged in a cooler box, so I didn’t have to worry about rushing home from work to find spoiled food. Everything is neatly packaged in recyclable cardboard. I like how Hello Fresh keeps all of the different meals organized.

The first meal I made was the Jucy Lucy Burgers. I was happy I had the additional ingredients on hand (olive oil and sugar). The burger was cooked perfectly and Jason kept raving about the dressing on the arugula salad. However, I did have quite a few pots, pans, and bowls to clean up, which makes for a fun after dinner chore.

The second night we had the Zesty Crusted Catfish, which was deceivingly filling. I love roasted broccoli and jasmine rice (staples in my home). I rarely have catfish which was a nice treat. The panko breading was crunchy and flavorful with the included fish seasoning.

The third meal was the Gremolata Strip Steak. I love strip steak! Cauliflower mashed potatoes is also a great way to include vegetables into my diet. The pesto on top of the steak really added flavor. I would absolutely make this again!

 

The Good:

  • I didn’t have to think about dinner. It was nice to grab a box and get to work.
  • Each dinner was tasty and flavorful. Jason and I really enjoyed the variety.
  • The variety offered is plentiful. I love adding different meals to my nightly menu.
  • You won’t spend more than 40-minutes preparing a meal.
  • Good portions.
  • Easy to follow, step by step directions with pictures.
  • Cost effective with a coupon.

The Bad:

  • I used more pots, pans, bowls, and utensils than usual.
  • The calories are a little high. (I try to stick around 500 for dinner).
  • No leftovers. (I usually have leftovers for lunch the next day).
    • I could order the 4 person option to solve this problem.
  • Expensive without a coupon code

Verdict

I would absolutely use Hello Fresh again, especially on crazy busy weeks where I don’t have enough time to order groceries online or get to a supermarket. I would also use them if I am in a “dinner rut” and want some new ideas.

Hello Fresh, you certainly made dinner much easier!

Sign up HERE to get $40 off your first box!

Namaste.

PS. This is not a sponsored post. I wanted to share my experience with Hello Fresh with you. All opinions within all of my posts (whether sponsored or not) are my own. If you would like to have your product/brand/service on Realm of Vibes, please visit the Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com. Realm of Vibes is also looking for guest bloggers in the lifestyle niche. 

 

for busy people who love to eat

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