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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The best Dog Bed in the World

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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. 

20170425_175817

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!

20170425_172951_00120170425_172929

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 

How to Run with your Dog

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. This commission helps sustain running Realm of Vibes. 

I love running with my dog, Bailey. Some people would classify my “running” as a light jog or brisk walk, but we have a lot of fun exercising with one another while getting our Whistle and FitBit activity minutes. Whether you are just starting out with walking or are an avid runner, here are some of my tips for running safely and easily with your canine companion.

1.Get doctor and veterinarian clearance.

It is important to make sure you can physically handle exercise. Schedule a physical and consult your doctor about starting a walking/running program. Bring Fido in for a check-up and get clearance as to how many miles you can walk/run with your dog. Bailey is cleared to run up to 10 miles with me. When I was training for a half marathon, we ran up to 8-9 miles. It’s imperative that you start slow; make sure you do an adequate warm-up for both you and your dog.

2. Know your dog and plan your route.

I prefer running early in the morning, or 60-90 minutes before sunset at a park. I like a clear trail, opposed to running on the street. Some streets in my development don’t have sidewalks, so running with Bailey (or foster) can be dangerous. She also likes to run ahead of me, so that’s why I typically avoid street running. Depending on the season, you want to make sure your dog can handle the temperature. I like to run early or late in the day, especially during the hot summer months.

3. Get your gear!

I don’t know what I would do without my Tuff Mutt – Hands Free Dog Leash. The leash clips around my waist, has a bungee cord with a carbineer that clips to Bailey’s collar or harness. It has a short and large handle so I always have control over her movements. It is also reflective, so we are noticed by pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles on our path.

Tuff Mutt – Hands Free Dog Leash

Hydration is super important, whether you are going on a short or long run. I have a few different tactics for handling both of our water. First, I wear a Hydration Belt. around my waist. I usually fill one with water, and one with a sports drink. If I go on a short run, I bring a Collapsible Dog Bowl for Bailey’s water. Sometimes, I bring a Gulpy Water Dispenser which is a water dispenser. I clip it to my waist with a carabiner or I carry it for added resistance. Whatever you do, make sure you have enough water for both you and your dog and that you take plenty of water breaks!

Hydration Belt

Collapsible Dog Bowl

Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax is my go-to product before a run. It is easy to apply the hypoallergenic, nontoxic wax to Bailey’s paws, which gives a nice protective coating to prevent accidents on the trail. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
4. Add some extras!

I love my Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband. I have been using a FitBit since it came on the market and helps keep me accountable regarding exercise. I like the FitBit Charge 2 because it has a relaxation setting where it prompts you to do 2 minutes of breathing exercises. I also like knowing which heart rate range in which I am exercising.

FitBit Charge 2

Bailey has a Whistle Activity Monitor. This shows how active she is throughout the day. We try to give her at least 60 minutes of daily exercise. It clips around her collar. When we had a pet sitter, we could see how long she was taking her on walks, and I could look at her stats from work to see if she is destroying my home. I think the Whistle is well worth the investment.

Whistle Activity Monitor

Final Thoughts

Running with your dog can be a great form of exercise! I know that after our runs, we both feel great, and get a better night’s sleep. How do you exercise with your dog? Leave a comment to let me know!

Namaste.

Adobe Spark (10)

From Cereal to the Crock-Pot: Making Mom Proud & My Husband Happy

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I will receive a small commission.

When I was growing up, my mom cooked dinner six nights a week. She is 100% Italian so we always had delicious meals with plenty of leftovers. My sister would always want to learn to cook and bake. I, on the other hand, didn’t mind having a personal chef (sometimes short order cook). When I moved into my now-husband’s apartment, I prepared dinners that consisted of cereal, scrambled eggs, shake and pour pancakes, French toast and my specialty, Elio’s Pizza. Jason, calmly, but seriously asked me the following:

  • Do you know what a grocery store is?
  • Do you know how to make anything other than breakfast foods and Elio’s Pizza?

I remember my husband driving to Acme and said “This is called a supermarket. This is where you buy fresh produce, meat, fish, and other items to prepare suitable dinners.” I tried familiarizing myself with the store layout by walking up and down the aisles. This was all a new experience. I missed my mom preparing meals, but knew I had to be an adult and learn how to cook.

Jason taught he how to cook everything. Four years later and I have baked a whole chicken independently. I was the girl that thought all chicken came frozen. Yep. People do change. An old dog can learn new tricks. I want to share with you some of the tools I have used that has helped me tremendously in the kitchen.

Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set & 5 Piece Nylon Utensil Set

The Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set and Calphalon 5-Piece Nylon Kitchen Cooking Utensil set includes an 8-in. omelette pan, 10-in. omelette pan, 1-qt. covered sauce pan, 2-qt. covered sauce pan, 3-qt. covered saute pan, 6-qt covered stock pot,  and 4 tempered glass lids. It is made out of hard anodized aluminum, can be put in the oven up to 400 degrees F, and the nonstick coating makes it really easy to cook and clean. The utensils won’t scratch the pans, either. The only downside is that the cookware can’t go into the dishwasher (it will remove the nonstick surface), but the utensils can go in the top rack. These pots, pans, and utensils have really helped me with my cooking endeavors and I would strongly recommend them to new cooks. We have used them for over four years and couldn’t be happier.Crock-Pot

This was my go-to when I first started learning how to cook. My husband now calls me the Crock Pot Queen. Here is one of the first recipes I made in my crock pot:

Rosemary Lemon Chicken

  1. Place a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
  2. Pour a cup and a half of chicken broth into the slow cooker.
  3. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the chicken broth. Slice another lemon and place on top of the chicken.
  4. Take springs of rosemary and lay them on top of the chicken.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn crock pot on low and cook up to 8 hours, or on high for approximately 4 hours. Feel free to add garlic or parsley.
  7. Serve over rice.

I have a happy husband every time I make this recipe. And yes, I have a 5-quart Camouflage Crock-Pot. Don’t hate.


Blendtec Total Blender

My Vitamix couldn’t handle me. It broke within a month of having it. I needed something simpler so I exchanged it for a Blendtec Classic 575 Blender. I love my Blendtec. I use it every day to make my morning smoothie. I have also made ice cream, frozen yogurt, pesto, salsa, and soup. It is plunger free, has pre-programmed options, and an 8 year warranty. It is much simpler to use than other blenders, can fit under my counter top, and is dishwasher safe. Here is my daily smoothie recipe:

  1. Fill jar with 20 ounces of filtered water.
  2. Add a handful of washed baby spinach.
  3. Add a banana.
  4. Add strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and mango. (Fresh or frozen)
  5. Add chia seeds.
  6. Add a few ice cubes.
  7. Add a drop of your favorite essential oil. I like lemon or peppermint. (Contact me to learn more about ingesting essential oils.)
  8. Hit the “Smoothie” option on the Blendtec. Enjoy.

Pressure Cooker

Nope, it won’t explode. I promise. I was afraid of pressure cookers too, until I started using one. It takes 20 minutes to have dinner ready using one of these bad boys. I use the Elite Platinum 8 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker. It has so many programmable options and a browning feature, so you don’t have to dirty another pan. Here is my simple pork chop recipe:

  1. Brown 8 boneless pork chops in pressure cooker. Put aside.
  2. Place washed baby red potatoes in bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Add one roughly chopped white onion.
  4. Add two jars of marinara sauce.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add pork chops.
  7. Set pressure cooker for 22 minutes.
  8. Mangia!

Final Thoughts

These are my kitchen lifesavers. If I am not cooking with my pots, pans and utensils, I am making something in the crock-pot or pressure cooker. The Blendtec prepares all of my smoothies, soups, and desserts within minutes. I had absolutely no cooking background and needed equipment and appliances that work efficiently and simply. Now, my husband is happy when he comes home to a nutritious dinner. My mom is proud that I have learned a lifelong skill. I would strongly recommend the above items to anyone who wants to cook delicious meals without hassle.

What items do you use most often? Have a recipe to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Namaste.

From Cereal to the Crock-pot-pint