Where have you been?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, doesn’t it?

I have some big news. My husband and I are expecting our first child, a baby girl, Emilia Ann, in July. We share a mixture of emotions; one minute we are excited, followed by nervousness, and completed by overwhelming feelings of joy and love. We are truly blessed.

We're Expecting!

Nesting has been a reoccurring theme in our house. We undertook a huge laundry room renovation before we start working on the nursery.

We’ve been working nonstop, trying to tackle my student loan and save for maternity and paternity leave. Ebates and Ibotta have been lifesavers for all of my baby shopping. (And if you want to browse and buy anything off of my ever-changing baby registry, click here.)

I’ve been focusing on getting my doTERRA business off the ground, and have plans to share which products I’ve been using during my pregnancy in an upcoming blog post. If you are interested in hosting a Facebook party (with the opportunity to earn FREE doTERRA products), please contact me via realmofvibesdg@gmail.com. I’d love to get you started on my oily train.

Gender Reveal Sheet CakeWhat does this mean for Realm of Vibes?

It means I will continue to produce new content when time allows. And, I am always looking for products and businesses to review. (Contact me.)

Are you going to be a mommy blogger? 

I can’t believe I’ve already been asked this question… I’m sure some of my posts may involve my pregnancy and baby, but Realm of Vibes was intended on encompassing a wide variety of lifestyle components, including product reviews, travel, health and wellness, DIY, and more. So no, it will NOT become a sole mommy blog.

Until the next post,

Namaste,

Danielle Where have you been?

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Happy Holidays & 1 Year Blogiversary

I want to thank my loyal subscribers, readers, family, friends, public relations associates small business owners, and companies for supporting Realm of Vibes this past year. 2017 was a period of learning and growth. Without your support, Realm of Vibes would not have been successful.

Happy Holidays!

To my husband, Jason – thanks for supporting me through this adventure. I know you’ve seen how much happiness and opportunity Realm of Vibes has given me. From fulfilling my dream of becoming a (paid) freelance writer to breaking mail records and becoming friends with the delivery men and women, I appreciate your tolerance when I was typing on the computer to wee hours of the morning instead of snuggling in your arms. I love testing products with you – from tasting delectables to cleaning my car, your opinion always matters.

To my mom, dad, and sister – thanks for being my editors and biggest fans. You believed in me and my abilities since Post #1.

I had the pleasure of reviewing products from 32 companies. What a dream come true! I absolutely love writing, marketing, and helping small business owners promote their products. I look forward to new opportunities in the upcoming year.

I loved sharing pieces of myself with my readers. Blogging is an oversaturated industry, but your comments always inspired me and made me want to continue writing. If one person benefits from my banter, it’s worth it.

I wish you and yours a very happy holiday and a safe exit out of 2017.

2018 will hopefully bring Realm of Vibes more product reviews, guest posts, and fun.

Enjoy time with your loved ones, and I will return in the new year with new content.

Love,

Danielle

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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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. 

Practicing Mindfulness: Take the Challenge

Mindfulness. What does being mindful mean to you? To me, it means focusing on one thing at a time. I used to call myself a “Master Multi-tasker.” Over the years, I have shed that title, and have learned to immerse myself into one task at a time. I have less stress and truly enjoy experiencing all of the different sensations and aspects of my task at hand.

Riley from the Spirit and Soul Blog, and I have collaborated on blog posts and a 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! First, read my five tips for becoming more mindful, then head over to Riley’s post. Sign up here with your e-mail address to take our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge where we will instruct you on integrating tips and tricks for becoming more mindful in your everyday life.  

So, we begin…

Mindful Eating

Clear your table. Turn off the TV and phone. Prepare your food on your plate. Sit down comfortably. How does it feel to sit? Take ONE bite. How does your food taste? Is it hot or cold? What’s the texture like? Chew slowly and thoroughly. Swallow. Put your fork down. Take a deep breath. Savor your food.

My husband and I used to read bills, text whoever was pinging us, and watch the news. Now, we have a no distraction zone at our dining room table. We sit together, without external resources and devices, enjoy each other’s company, and taste our food.

Mindful Eating

Mindful Exercise

Have you ever gone to a yoga class and the person next to you is on their cell phone? Whenever I enter the gym, I find it comical to see a bunch of zombies walking around with headphones blasting and mobile devices in each hand.

I used to be both of those people. Now, I leave my cell phone in my car during my yoga class. At the gym, I go without my headphones and cell phone. It is so easy to zone out on an elliptical; I want to be present in my workout. I want to feel my body’s movements and be more aware of what’s around me. I learned that I like the gym’s music, too!

Mindful Exercise

Mindful Mornings

My alarm would sound and I would fly out of bed like a bat out of hell. I would begin checking my e-mails, text messages, and calendar. Now, after I turn off my alarm, I sit at the edge of my bed, and take a few moments to acknowledge, and give gratitude for, receiving another beautiful day.

This allows me to be present in the moment.

As I sit on the edge of my bed, I do a full body scan. How do my neck and back feel today? Do I feel well rested, or am I still tired? I take deep, cleansing breaths. I meditate. Now, I am ready to begin my day.

Mindful Grooming

I don’t have an intense grooming routine. I brush my teeth with doTERRA’s On Guard Whitening Toothpaste, floss, and use mouthwash. I run a brush through my hair and affix a messy bun. Simple, right? Try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth and hair. What happened? How did you do?

Slow down your grooming routine. Taste the toothpaste and mouthwash. Feel the sensation of the bristles on your teeth and scalp. Look at yourself in the mirror. Take time for you.

I love my showers. Showers can become a sensory experience, inducing feelings of peace and happiness. As you enter, feel the warm water rush over your body. Take a moment to enjoy the scent of your shampoo and body scrub. I love feeling the texture of the body scrub and smelling the aroma of the essential oils. My skin feels so soft and lovely afterward. I love seeing the dirt from the day wash away. I meditate in the shower and take the time to focus on myself, completely surrendering to moments of self-love.

Mindful Driving

During yoga class, an instructor asked, “For those of your who drove, what was your experience like getting here?” Answers ranged from, “Same as always.” “Listened to the radio.” “Rushed.” “Got stuck in traffic.” She proceeded to ask us how we sat in our seat (were we in good anatomical alignment?), whether we had both hands on the wheel (with arms engaged?), and if we practiced Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal lock and breathing technique). We proceeded to review how to integrate mindfulness into driving. These techniques I still use today.

I learned to sit with good alignment, practice breathing, and abdominal holds, have both hands on the wheel, arms engaged, and to turn off the radio. Turn off Bluetooth. Let your call go to voicemail. Pay attention to the road. Let thoughts enter and exit. If the weather is acceptable, roll down your windows. Open your sunroof. Feel the breeze. Do you notice a difference from your normal routine?

Driving Mindfully

Final Thoughts

How are you more mindful? In what ways do you integrate mindfulness into your daily routine?

Don’t forget to sign up for our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! It will start July 3!

Namaste.

5 Ways to be Mindful

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