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)

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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

Best Bully Sticks – GIVEAWAY!

*This post contains affiliate links and sponsored items. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission to help support this blog.

Bailey is my two and a half year old rescue dog. We became best friends the day my husband and I adopted her. Bailey is my confidant, my side-kick, my running partner, and my little realm of happiness in this crazy world. There is nothing better than coming home from a long day at work to see her excitement that I am home. I cherish my walks with her every morning and night. Bailey is a beautiful dog; she is energetic, fast, and mobile, which we attribute to her clean diet and exercise routine. Bailey is just like her mom; she LOVES her snacks! Her mom, however, always makes sure that she eats well and gives her the finest of treats.

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Bailey with 2 of the 3 items from BestBullySticks

This week, BestBullySticks was kind enough to send me three items to review:

  • Bully Snack Bar & Training Treats
    • These are beefy treats suitable for dogs of all life stages. These could be broken up easily to be used for training. They are softer and chewy. Approximately 20 treats come in the bag.
    • Price: $6.39 USD
    • Thoughts: This was Bailey’s FAVORITE! She LOVED these! I posted an Instagram video (@realmofvibes) of my princess eating the Bully Snack Bars. I would absolutely purchase these because she scarfed them down! They don’t stand a chance in my house!bullysnack
  • Two – 12″ Thick Odor Free Bully Sticks
    • These sticks are 30-50% wider than BestBullySticks standard bully stick. My husband liked these in comparison to other bully sticks I have purchased because they do not have a horrid smell. Bailey is selective when she decides to indulge in these, but it took her close to two hours to chew from 12″ to 3.” I like that these are free of chemicals, preservatives, and additives. This is a fantastic choice for aggressive chewers.
    • Price: $4.99 USD a stick, but can be less expensive if you enroll in Auto-Ship
    • Thoughts: When Bailey decided to chew on these, she was a very happy dog. She laid on her dog bed like a primadonna and licked and chewed until her hearts content. I would purchase these in the future. The foster dogs would go CRAZY over them and they would be a great time occupier. bully
  • Ear Variety Pack for Dogs
    • This big bag contained 3 lamb ears, 3 pig ears, and 3 cow ears. The lamb and cow ears are lighter in color than the pig ears. These are for light to average chewers and contain no preservatives, additives, chemicals or hormones.
    • Price: $8.99 USD
    • Thoughts: Unfortunately, Bailey only liked the pig ears. She would lick and chew the pig ears instantaneously, but she would just carry around the lamb and cow ears in her mouth and drop them into her toy crate. Now – I donated the lamb and cow ears to the rescue. Dogs are similar to humans in the fact that we don’t like every food option in the world, right? Whatever you do, don’t throw anything out – please donate it to your local shelter. There will be a dog that likes what your dog does not.

ear

BestBullySticks has a lot to offer. Their website is loaded with different bully sticks, dog chews and treats, bones, food, supplies, toys, dental treats. They also have products made in the USA and an extensive sale section. One thing I feel that BestBullySticks could improve upon is the quality of the packaging. The seal doesn’t work well and the Ear Variety pack bag ripped on the side. I wound up putting all of the treats and chews into large freezer bags. On the website, in small fine print, is says to put the treats in the freezer or refrigerator because they don’t contain preservatives. I would make the print bigger on your website and add this to the packaging. I like how all of the treats are 100% natural, approved by the USDA, and 100% digestible. BestBullySticks is located in Richmond, VA. I would absolutely purchase from BestBullySticks in the future. They have so many great products that Bailey would love to try!
BestBullySticks.com

 

BestBullySticks is offering a giveaway to TWO lucky winners. Each winner will receive the three items listed above. Contest begins on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 12:oo AM and will end Friday, April 7, 2017 at 12:00 AM. Contest is open to continental USA residents ages 18 years or older. Winners will be selected through Random.org. The winners have 24 hours to respond via e-mail or another winner will be selected.

ENTER THE BestBullySticks

GIVEAWAY HERE

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Disclaimer: I reviewed items from BestBullySticks in return for a review and posts on social media platforms. All views within are authentic and my own. 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.  Always supervise your dog when giving any chew or treat as they can become a choking hazard. 
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5 Ways to Earn Cash in Under an Hour

*This post contains affiliate and referral links.

I admit it…I am a penny pincher. I have known the value of a dollar since I was twelve years old, working at my after-school job in a flower shop. I would strip roses of their thorns, water plants, and make bouquets. It was a lovely job; one that allowed me to go to the movies with friends and buy the latest trend at the mall. I started babysitting at 13, worked at a pizzeria, and entered the wonderful world of retail. I worked part-time as a telemarketer and a dorm “check-in” worker during my undergraduate studies. When I was in graduate school, I was a promotional model for liquor companies and a nanny. Everything I have, I have earned through my hard work and dedication. I have learned how to save money through various methods. This has supplemented my income and allowed me to purchase special items for myself, husband, or animals. Here are some of my favorites:

1Q Application

Time: less than 15 seconds

1Q is an instant mobile marketing application. You fill out a series of questions about yourself and they send you relevant questions. Every question you answer is $0.25 or $0.50 (depending on which option you choose). Money gets deposited right into your PayPal account. Nope, I’m not getting rich off this application but for 15 seconds of my time, this is easy money.

Ibotta

Time: 15-20 minutes

This is another application to download to your mobile device. Before I head to the supermarket (usually ShopRite, Weis, or BJs) or drug/liquor/retail stores, I go through and unlock deals. For instance, ShopRite may have a deal on bananas for $0.25 or $0.75 on a major cereal brand that I will be purchasing. I may have to answer a question or watch a short video to unlock the deal. Purchase the products that you have unlocked from Ibotta’s list of supported stores. Some items, you will need to scan barcodes to verify your purchases. Then, scan you receipt and send directly to Ibotta. Within 24-48 hours, money will be deposited into your Ibotta account. At the time of this post, you need $20 USD to transfer to your PayPal account or to cash out a gift card. I have connected my store loyalty cards to the Ibotta app (some stores have this option, some do not). This takes the scanning step out of the equation; however, you still must unlock the offers. Ibotta also has mobile in-app purchases that will give you cash back. Everyone goes shopping, so why not earn some cash back?

Use my referral code (SFRVCEL) to get a $10 bonus: here

Ebates

Time: however long it takes me to shop online or in-store

My aunt got me HOOKED on Ebates. Earn a percentage back at all participating Ebates stores, both online and in-store. I added the button onto my browser, so whenever there are Ebates deals, it prompts me to activate the reward. You can also link your credit card to your Ebates account. My husband and I shopped for his suits at an Ebates approved store. We received 4% back on our purchase, almost instantly! When I shop online, Ebates will help me keep more money in my pocket. Once you reach $5.01 USD, Ebates will send you a Big Fat Check, transfer your money into PayPal, or send to a family member/organization/charity of your choice. Like Ibotta, you are shopping for items anyway, so keep some cash in your pocket! Ebates also has a referral program, where if you click my referral link, sign up, and make a purchase, I can receive $25 USD. Please use my referral link: here.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Sell your Stuff: Poshmark, LetGo, and Garage Sale Sites

Time: 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how organized you are

Gather clothes and household goods that you no longer want and get ready to make some money! Grab your cell and take a picture of each item. Upload as follows with a detailed description and price. Watch the savings roll in…

  • Poshmark: Enter code BAEGN when you sign up to receive $5 off your first order. Poshmark is the ultimate virtual consignment store. I have both shopped and sold on Poshmark. I have purchased clothing and DVDs and I have sold clothes, shoes, and bridesmaids items. A great way to re-use, recycle and re-purpose!
  • Letgo: I have purchased home décor and have sold automotive items on Letgo.
  • Garage Sale Sites: I love garage sale sites on Facebook. I have sold so many things including clothing, shoes, accessories, home décor, automotive and pet items…the list goes on.
  • My disclaimer: Please be careful meeting people offline to sell/buy items. Many municipalities in NJ have garage sale parking spots in police department lots for safe exchanges of product(s) for money. Don’t be silly – use your best judgment and always tell someone where you are meeting. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

Couponing

Time: 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how organized you are

I start by doing my digital coupons on the ShopRite application on my phone. Then I head over to Coupons.com were I have hundreds of coupons right at my fingertips. I subscribe to the newspaper Thursdays and Sundays, where I quickly scan the flyers and cut out any coupons. I have my filing system down to a science. I use the Expandable Coupon Organizer. I sort everything by category and date. Before I go to the supermarket, I make a list of everything I need to purchase. Then, I put an asterisk next to the items that have coupons. When I am in the store, when I get an item, I pull the coupon from the compartment and slip it into my pocket. When I use my club savings card, and buy items that are on sale, in conjunction with a coupon, I save the most money.

Final Thoughts

A penny saved is a penny earned.

What do you do to earn and save money? Drop a comment, below.

Namaste.

Adobe Spark (50)

** The Lili Aromatherapy giveaway is still underway until March 24, 2017. Enter here.

Lili Aromatherapy Body Scrubs – GIVEAWAY!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and sponsored products. All opinions within are authentic and my own.

Showers are sacred. Besides my bed, it is the one place where I can just relax. I don’t have the dogs and cats begging for attention, my husband asking me what’s for dinner, or text message pings alerting me to the twenty million things on my to-do list.

Once a week, I perform a full body scrub. I like the feeling of exfoliating; I scrub my day or week away — all that “stuff”, down the drain. I was honored to write a review on Lili Aromatherapy’s body scrubs, which are from Sri Lanka, 100% vegan, and not tested on animals.

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About Lili Aromatherapy

Lili Aromatherapy was created by Rasha, who was been born and raised in America. She moved to Sri Lanka when she was a teenager and fell in love with the country. Sri Lanka is known for is their high quality essential oils that the natives use in beauty treatments. Rasha started Lili Aromatherapy the goal of sharing Sri Lankan essential oils with the world. She wanted all of her products to be of spa quality, convenient and easy to use. All ingredients are sourced from the tropical Island of Sri Lanka. Women from impoverished areas of Sri Lanka hand pack all of Lili Aromatherapy’s products.

Lili Aromatherapy scrubs come with 4 individual sachets (3.5 oz., 100 g, of product in each sachet) and cost $40 USD. Each pack is designed for one full body scrub experience. If used once a week, each purchase could last for one month. I always appreciate a company that sends a handwritten note and has awesome packaging. Each cloth drawstring packet is wrapped in clear plastic and contain four sachets. The sachets are waterproof, see-through and have a floral design with clear labels. I smelled the scrubs through the DHL bag!

Directions:

Rub small amounts of scrub onto moist skin, rubbing towards your heart to improve circulation. Once finished, wash off the remaining scrub with warm water. For best results, use once a week.

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The Lili Aromatherapy body scrubs include:

  • An Affair Amongst Jasmines
    • Amazing for glowing skin, helps reduce blemishes and scars, and soothes troubled skin. Recommended before a hot date or event.
    • My thoughts: I could smell the jasmine and sandalwood through the packaging. Holy. Moly. Amazing. The scrub has an orange/pinkish tint, and is finer than the other two scrubs. My skin is sensitive, and this scrub was especially soothing and left my skin soft and glowing. This was my favorite scrub; the smell was truly unbelievable and my skin was left soft from the essential oils.
  • Meditation Amongst Lotuses
    • Reduces anxiety and stress, tones and tightens skin, reduces fine lines and is purported to have anti-aging effects. Good to use after a stressful week or when you feel worn out or ragged.
    • My thoughts: Oh. My. Goodness. I have never heard of or used blue lotus essential oil but I am really glad I had the opportunity to experience it through Lili Aromatherapy’s scrubs. The Meditation Amongst Lotuses scrub smells like the biggest and best bouquet of flowers you have ever received. My skin was left smelling like floral notes. Very refreshing!
  • Serenity Amongst Lavender Fields
    • Perfect for reducing cellulite, reduces aches and muscle pains, and has a strong calming effect. This is a staple after the gym or an intense yoga class.
    • My thoughts: I love lavender. This is super relaxing. I smell the rosemary and sage, too. I used this after hot yoga class, before bedtime, and it put me in a very calm state. My skin felt fantastic; super soft and left smelling like lavender.

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The Lili Aromatherapy scrubs have made my shower experience more relaxing and enjoyable. The scents are unreal, the textures of the scrubs are perfect, and they really exfoliate my skin without any irritation. My skin is left soft from the essential oils. I feel like I am taken away to Sri Lanka when using Lili Aromatherapy scrubs. I felt like one sachet was the perfect amount for two showers. Realm of Vibes strongly recommends Lili Aromatherapy scrubs to help you look and feel amazing.

Lili Aromatherapy is giving THREE lucky winners a sample pack of scrubs (valued at $30 USD). Contest will begin on March 10, 2017 at 12:00 AM EST and run until March 24, 2017 12:00 AM EST. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Winners must be from the continental USA. No purchase required. Winners will be chosen using random.org. Winners must be able to provide name, address, and phone number for shipping. Winners have 24 hours to respond to e-mail or another winner will be selected.

ENTER THE LILI AROMATHERAPY GIVEAWAY HERE

Visit Lili Aromatherapy on Facebook and Instagram.

Namaste.

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