5 Books for Parents to Be

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My sister purchased several best sellers for me to read before Emilia makes her debut in July. I always end my day snuggled in bed with my doTERRA Petal diffuser blasting lavender engrossed in a book. Reading has always had a calming effect on me. These are currently on my nightstand:

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting by Karen Alpert

I finished this book in 3 days and laughed out loud almost every single page. It made me realize how my life is going to completely change in a few months. Kids are true blessings – but I know that this parenting ride may not always present with smooth sails. The author has a comical way of giving us soon-to-be parents a glimpse into reality.

The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance (Owner’s and Instruction Manual) by Louis Borgenicht M.D and Joe Borgenicht

Another light-hearted, non-threatening read that I finished over the course of a week. It covers the basics, but with some new information that has changed since my babysitting and nannying days. It calls doctors “service providers,” which always gives me a good chuckle. This owner’s manual also helped me with a few things on my baby registry.

So That’s What They’re For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide 3rd edition by Janet Tamaro

Breastfeeding. This is my take on breastfeeding; fed is best. I am hoping that Emilia and I both enjoy and have an easy breastfeeding experience. If not, formula it will be. I was a formula kid. So was my sister, husband, and sister-in-law. We all turned out somewhat normal. Our moms didn’t even attempt breastfeeding. I, on the other hand, would like to give it a try. Of course, like any new mom, I’m nervous, so this book is a great way to educate me on everything relating to breastfeeding in an informative, direct, conversational way.

Your Baby’s First Year For Dummies by James Gaylord, MD and Michelle Hagen

I love for Dummies books. It breaks everything down so simply and reviews every topic within the baby’s first year. I like how it has pictures (I’m a visual learner) and pediatrician recommendations that really helped me to formulate a plan when Emilia arrives. The book is extensive, so the index is super helpful when I want to read a specific topic.

Show Dad How (Parenting Magazine): The Brand-New Dad’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Shawn Bean

Jason claims he has never been much of a reader so when my sister surprised him with this Show Dad How book, I got really excited because this is a very simple picture book to learn how to do basic things, like change a diaper. It provides comedic relief, as we all know, raising children does take a village.

bake bread

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5 Life-Changing Books

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the picture or link and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation. 

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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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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Terra Cotta Pendants for your Neck, Wrist, or Car

Disclosure: This blog post features sponsored and affiliated items. If you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission to help sustain running Realm of Vibes. All opinions within this post are authentic and my own. Terra Cotta Pendants does not endorse any specific essential oil company. 

Since I became a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA, I have been purchasing diffusers for every room in my house and aspect of my life. Essential oils have helped improved my sleep and to balance my emotions throughout the day. They have also assisted in keeping my immunity strong against seasonal threats.

Diffusing essential oils are a great way to enjoy therapeutic benefits. I wanted a way to wear my oils, so Terra Cotta Pendants sent me a neck pendant, diffuser wrap bracelet, and car diffuser to try and review.

About Terra Cotta Pendants

Lori Gosselin, her husband, Auguste, and her daughter, Natasha are the Terra Cotta Pendant family. Auguste creates all the terra cotta pendants with his own two hands. Lori is the communicator, fielding e-mails and social media. Natasha has designed several pendant designs and her son, Alex, was the original Webmaster. (Although no longer here on Earth with us, he will be forever apart of the TCP family.) Terra Cotta Pendants is certainly a family affair!

Terra Cotta Family

The Terra Cotta Family

On the website, you will see three items available for purchase:

  • Pendants
    • $8-9.00 Canadian dollars
    • Features designs like elements, flowers, leaves, runes, symbols, totems, words and zodiac
  • Wrap Bracelets
    • $11.00 Canadian dollars
    • Features one of my favorite symbols, an arrow.
  • Car Diffuser
    • $10.00 Canadian dollars
    • Features animals, words, symbols, leaves

Terra Cotta Pendants ship worldwide. Shipping information and a currently converter is on the website.

How it Works

Essential oils are naturally volatile, which means they evaporate easily, in normal temperatures. When a drop of essential oil is applied to the surface of the terra cotta piece, it is absorbed into the tiny pores of the kiln-fired clay. The essential oil slowly and naturally diffuses into the air, leaving you with a pleasant aroma throughout your day!

Directions for Use

Lay the terra cotta piece flat, and add ONE (or two, MAX) drops of essential oil onto the clay. Let it dry. When it is completely absorbed, it is ready to wear or hang in your car.

Review 

Terra Cotta Pendants

Terra Cotta Pendants

I started with the Terra Cotta Arrow Wrap Bracelet. I put two drops of Peppermint on the clay. It took a few minutes to dry completely. The waxed cotton cord was easy to untangle and lay flat. I slipped my wrist through, tightened the bead, and wrapped the bracelet around my wrist. Since I have been wearing this, I have received SO many compliments! Whenever someone asks about my Terra Cotta Arrow Wrap Bracelet, I reply, “SMELL!” and let them experience the refreshing, rejuvenating Peppermint essential oil. When I need a pick-me up during a long shift at work, I inhale slowly and take a deep, calming breath. Not only is the bracelet comfortable, but it holds the smell for a while. When the peppermint smell began to fade (about 4-5 days), I added a drop of Cedarwood, which is great for repelling insects since I have been spending a lot of time outdoors. Not only is the Terra Cotta Arrow Wrap Bracelet a statement piece, but it really helps me get therapeutic benefit from my oils throughout my day.

As most of you know, I have begun more of a holistic journey the beginning of this year after I injured my back. Besides being dairy and gluten free, I have rid my home of artificial everything… I was purchasing the vent sticks for my car, but wanted to find a more holistic approach to keeping my car smelling fresh. I tossed the vent sticks, and added two drops of Wild Orange to my Terra Cotta Joy Car Diffuser. You can get a ticket for hanging anything from your rear-view mirror in New Jersey, so I hung it from my volume dial. Now, when I enter my car, I get the fresh scent of Wild Orange. It truly is fabulous! The Terra Cotta Car Diffuser has a little magnet clasp, too!

Terra Cotta Pendants - Car Diffuser

Terra Cotta Pendants – Car Diffuser

The Terra Cotta Neck Pendant featuring an Angel is perfect for doTERRA’s Balance essential oil. doTERRA’s Balance is super grounding, and helps keep me calm, especially during stressful situations at work. The Angel couldn’t have come at a better time. Angels remind me that I have loved ones in Heaven always protecting me, and that when I am at work, it is my job to help others improve and enrich their lives. It serves as a reminder to be somebody’s Angel. I applied one drop of doTERRA’s Balance to the clay, and adjusted the waxed cotton string around my neck. I was inhaling the benefits of doTERRA’s Balance all day, creating the sense of calm that I so often need and desire! The Terra Cotta Pendant is light around my neck, and also attracted many compliments by coworkers and clients.

Terra Cotta Pendants - Pendant

Terra Cotta Pendants – Pendant

Final Thoughts

Terra Cotta Pendants are an affordable, portable way to enjoy all of the therapeutic benefits from essential oils.

These would make awesome gifts; purchase an enrollment kit and a Terra Cotta Pendant, wrist wrap, and car diffuser. What a thoughtful and personalized gift!

I highly recommend Terra Cotta Pendants for all day diffusing and to keep your car smelling fresh!

Visit Terra Cotta Pendants on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google+. Lori has excellent videos for Independent Contractors like myself; make sure you take a look!

After you pick your Terra Cotta Pendant, make sure you visit my doTERRA shop and e-mail me at realmofvibesdg@gmail.com so I can help you pick out the best essential oils to wear or for your car diffuser!

Namaste.

Workin’ like a Mule? Time for a Drink from Culinary Cantina’s 100% Copper Moscow Mule Mugs

Disclosure: This post contains sponsored and affiliated items. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. All thoughts and opinions within are my own. 

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FRIDAY. Or, like I say, FRI-YAY. My husband will call me on his way home from work and ask the million-dollar question, “What are we drinking tonight, Danielle?” He will proceed to tell me he is on his way to the liquor store, will pick up take-out, and come home to our beautiful palace. Lately, I have been obsessed with Moscow Mules – an old-school vodka drink that is served at restaurants in a shiny copper mug. I, on the other hand, did not own such a vessel, and was serving them in mason jar mugs and beer glasses, but thanks to Culinary Cantina, I now have a set of real copper Moscow Mule mugs. And, I learned WHY they taste so much better!

20170426_19430320170425_173028About Culinary Cantina

Culinary Cantina was founded in December 2016. Their mission is to create products to assist all of your kitchen endeavors combining science and a sleek design. The first product Culinary Cantina has to offer is a set of four 100% Copper Moscow Mule Mugs.

What I love:

  • 100% Copper
    • HOLY COLD – my Moscow Mule is COLD, and STAYS cold.
    • No liner
    • Improves the flavor of the vodka
    • Increases carbonation
    • Intensifies the tang
  • 16 ounces of pure deliciousness
  • Brass Handles
    • Strong metal to withstand the weight of your beverage
    • Perfect resting spot for your thumb and pinky fingers
    • Jason seriously loves the handles…he could probably write this review…
  • 100% Guarantee
    • Register your Culinary Cantina Moscow Mule mugs and you will be set for 5 years!
  • Price: $49.99 USD
    • This is a great price. Seriously, I have seen ONE mug go for $15-20 a pop in home goods stores.

My Moscow Mule Recipe

  1. Get your Culinary Cantina Moscow Mule Mug.
  2. Muddle mint leaves at the bottom of your mug. This brings out the mint flavor.
  3. Add ice.
  4. Add vodka.
  5. Add fresh lime juice.
  6. Add Ginger Beer.
  7. Add a slice (or two) of jalapeno. (optional)
  8. Stir.
  9. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Substitute tequila for vodka for a Mexican Mule.

My Thoughts

The Culinary Cantina Moscow Mule mugs are awesome. My drink stays cold, and the concave bottom makes it stable. The handles are awesome and fit both my (small) hands and my husbands (rather large) hands. The brass handles are super sturdy. They look classy and are statement pieces.

Consider purchasing the set as a gift – package together the Culinary Cantina Moscow Mule mugs, a bottle of vodka, a pack of Ginger beer, a potted mint plant, and some limes (or Lime essential oil!). I would LOVE to receive a gift that thoughtful and creative!

Care Tips and a Moscow Mule recipe are printed on the box!

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Support a small business and order your Moscow Mule mugs from Culinary Cantina on Amazon. Visit Culinary Cantina’s website to get a 25% off coupon (while supplies last).

Visit Culinary Cantina on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Culinary Cantina’s 100% Copper Moscow Mule Mugs

Namaste.

If you are interested in having your product or service on Realm of Vibes, please visit the Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com