Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Super Soft PACT® Organic Clothing Review

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own. No monetary compensation received.

I spend a lot of my waking hours in workout clothes. My mornings consist of running, hiking, or going to the gym and inevitably running errands afterwards. I want comfortable workout clothes that wear well and look good. Since I sweat a lot, I want my workout clothes and athleisure wear to wash well and not hold the sweat smell I despise.

I've tried athleisure wear made from organic cotton before but this is the first time I've tried PACT® Organic Clothing. I fell in love with it as soon as I took it out of the box. The first thing I noticed is how soft all of the fabric feels. Regular cotton always seem heavy or stiff. Not PACT Organic Clothing. The cotton is super soft, breathable and lightweight.

I especially appreciate the breathability of the cotton in the undergarments. The sports bra and camisole fit well and dried fast while running errands. I like the underwear so well, I'm planning on ordering more by the end of the week. Not only are they soft, but they are thin enough that they dry quickly. They also don't leave obvious panty lines when I wear them with the leggings.

The hoodie works perfect for running errands on cooler spring days. While I never work out in a hoodie, it's nice to have it when I'm finished with my workouts or runs when  I'm wet from sweat but don't have time to go home. The leggings are comfortable and fit tight the way I like them for working out. I could wear the PACT clothing all day and not feel bad.

With so many things to like about PACT Organic, one of the best things is that the company works hard to make sure their products are ethically produced. I had no idea that conventional cotton is one of the world's dirtiest crops. It uses 16% of the world's insecticides and 7% of the world's pesticides. PACT Organic wants to change that. By using natural processes rather than artificial additions to grow cotton, the crops don't cause as much damage to the soil and the drinking water around it.

It's important to me that PACT Organic partners with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) to make sure that farmers and textile workers are paid a living wage and that child labor is NOT used in producing their products. Social responsibility and comfortable products make PACT Organic a company I feel good about recommending to my readers.

Special Offer For My Readers

Pact Organic is offering my readers a 25% discount on their first order. You must use this link with promo code 
when checking out. Expires 8/31/17.

Be sure to leave a comment telling me what you think of PACT Organic or something you want to try.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Leather Wrap Bracelets Giveaway

Leather wrap bracelets have outdoor enthusiast written all over them. That's why we sell them on our blog. We also carry sterling silver jewelry for those who want to take it up a notch. My favorite is our Take a Hike Bracelet. It's how I feel most days.

Take a Hike Bracelet for Sal

Check out our products page to see our jewelry for the outdoor enthusiast. 

We want our readers to have a chance to win one each of our leather wrap bracelets so we're giving away all four styles to two lucky readers. Check out the four bracelets and enter for your chance to win all four. Want to order gifts for the holidays? All orders over $12.00 placed between now and April 15, 2017 will receive the Tree of Life (bottom left corner) free with their order. All orders must be placed through Paypal.
Giveaway Details:
Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends April 15, 2017 at 11:59 EST. Retail value of prize is $49.46. Giveaway sponsored by blog owner.

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

10 Tips for Staying Safe While Solo Hiking

Post contains affiliate links

If I had to wait to hike until I found somebody to go with, I would never end up on the trail. Besides for an introvert, hiking solo is truly a piece of heaven. 

Before I get started with safety tips, for ultimate safety, it's always best to hike with a buddy. 

Pack plenty of water: I have a friend who volunteers with our local search and rescue. He told me they do more rescues for people who have become dehydrated on the trail than for any other reason. One bottle is not enough and sometimes I don't know I'm getting dehydrated until it's too late. I recommend a 1.5 to 2 liter hydration pack for a three hour day hike under normal circumstances. In very hot weather, pack even more. You can never have too much. It's easier to dump water toward the end of the hike than finding it. I also recommend some type of electrolyte replacement. 

Know the area: I have a large amount of hiking trails close to home. I know the area well and know that I can often get cell phone service depending on how close I stay to the valley. Venturing deep into the backcountry far from familiar areas is not a good idea.

Choose a well marked trail and heavily traveled trail: Where I hike, any trail with a trailhead sign is usually easy to follow. Also, the marked trails are popular enough that even on a weekday, I always see other people. I know even if I get hurt on one of these trails, I won't have to wait long before somebody comes by.        

©Trudy Zufelt

Stay on the trail:

It's hard to get lost if you stay on an obvious trail. But I've known people taking longer than they anticipated on a hike and veering off the trail into what they think is a short cut. Even a smaller trail might not lead to where you think it does. My son did this once in winter and ended up running into a group of lost teens. If my husband and daughter hadn't gone after him, I don't even want to think of what could have happened.

Tell somebody where you plan to hike: I always text my husband or daughter my my planned hiking trail for the day. Even if they forget where I tell them, they can look back at their texts if I don't return home.

©Trudy Zufelt
Stay away from the wildlife

This is especially important for visiting tourists. I have a friend who works summers at a local ski resort. She told me stories of tourists who try to approach the moose. I have encountered moose many times hiking and know I need to stay far away. And yes, I was far away when I took my photo of the two moose. These animals aren't as harmless as they look. A moose will charge when it feels threatened and if you're alone, you probably won't make it off the trail.

Just last summer, I nearly stepped on what looked like a harmless garter snake. After I jumped out of the way and watched it scurry off, I was able to get a photo from a distance. To my surprise, when I cropped the photo, I discovered it wasn't a harmless snake but a poisonous baby rattle snake. These can be even more deadly than a fully grown rattlesnake and because their rattles haven't developed, they don't leave a "verbal" warning. That is why I would never bend down and try to pick up a snake.

Pack extra gear and clothing:
At a minimum, I carry an extra jacket, a small pair of gloves, an extra pair of socks in all seasons. The weather may abruptly change. I've been caught in unexpected thunderstorms more than once and have always been grateful for dry clothes. As far as gear, I always keep my microspikes in my bag during winter hikes or carry a hiking pole. It's always a good idea to carry a multi-tool knife and a set of waterproof matches in case I get stuck overnight.

Pack extra food: I like to carry enough bars or other food so if I get stuck on the trail overnight, I will have enough calories to sustain myself until I can get help.

Carry a cell phone AND a charger: Even if you hike a trail with no cell phone service, it still helps to carry a cell phone. Many of the trails I hike have cell phone service in spots. However, it doesn't do  any good if your battery dies. I carry a small solar charger that I fully charge before I leave, That way, I have a back up if my battery dies and a way to charge the charger again.

Know your limits: That fourteen mile round trip hike to Mt. Timpanogos sounds amazing but if the most I've ever hiked is five miles, I save the longer hike for a day when I can bring someone with. It also might be tempting to hike that peak on a snowy day but I make sure I'm capable of getting up and back before dark.

©Trudy Zufelt

This world is amazing. Don't miss it waiting for others. It's okay to explore on your own but please play it safe.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hiking Boynton Canyon Vortex in Sedona, Arizona

Post contains affiliate links.

Before my first trip to Sedona, Arizona in January, I had never heard of a vortex beyond when I'd read in science books. I received a crash course in the New Age Movement and learned that a vortex is an area of concentrated energy. Many people search out these vortexes for spiritual renewal. I have to admit, it sounded a little hokey to me but after hiking the Boynton Canyon Trail to one of the vortexes and witnessing the sun setting across the way, I felt something within that left me in awe.

Getting There

To get to the Boynton Trail, take 89A toward Cottonwood and go about 3.25 miles. Turn right on Dry Creek Road and go 3 miles until the "T" in the road. Make a left hand turn at the T and follow to the next T. At this T make a right hand turn and go about a tenth of a mile. We missed this second T and ended up at the Enchantment Resort and had to turn around. Once we found the parking lot, the trail was marked and easy to find. 

The hike to the vortex is relatively easy. There is very little elevation change and it is only about one mile round trip to the vortex. For those who want a little more hiking, the Boynton Canyon Trail is 3 miles one way and connects to Deadman Pass Trail, Boynton Vista Trail and Long Canyon Trail. Unfortunately, we ended up with a bad weather day and didn't get to do the longer hike. My sister and  I did get a chance meditate for a while on the vortex. As I pondered, I couldn't help but wonder what made the Sedona vortexes so spiritual for those who sought them.

As we stood up to leave, the sun hit the tops of many of the surrounding peaks in what looked like a touch of heaven. It was breathtaking and truly spiritually enlightening. I couldn't help but think it was more than a coincidence. I left with an answer as to what makes Sedona such a special place.

I can't wait to return to Sedona again. I'm sure it will be nearly impossible to repeat the experience of having the sun light the peaks and just the right moment but I'm already convinced that the New Age Movement and vortexes aren't as hokey as I first thought.

Throw on your trail shoes and bring plenty of water and check out Sedona.

Baskets-N-Beyond Gift Basket Giveaway

If you didn't win my last basket giveaway, don't worry.  I've teamed up with Savvy Sweeper and am having another giveaway in time for Easter.

My friend Michele from Baskets-n-Beyond has a beautiful assortment of Easter baskets available on her website and I would like to give one of my Facebook followers a chance to win a basket valued up to $50?

Be sure to check out Baskets-n-Beyond for all of your basket and gift needs!

If you don't celebrate Easter,  no problem.  You can choose any basket up to $50 if you are chosen as the winner.

Disclosure:  Savvy Sweeper Blog is responsible for this giveaway.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Green Chef Review and Giveaway

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

I've always enjoyed home cooked meals. When my children were younger, I made it a point to sit down together every night. Now that two my three children have moved out,  I'm working outside the home more. This means I have less time to shop than I use to and not as much motivation. However, I  still prefer eating at home to eating out 

I like to know exactly what I put into my body. I constantly struggle with my weight but do better when I eat at home.

I love the idea of home delivery service. Green Chef has mastered the art of home delivery. 
It's nice to come home from work and find a box of groceries sitting on my doorstep. Since the box is well insulated with great ice packing, I didn't have to worry that my food might spoil. before I get home. Even better, I don't have to waste time at the grocery store only to get home to find out I forgot half the ingredients and have to make a return trip.

With Green Chef I can choose three meals that work for my family. I love that the meals are USDA certified organic which means all of the ingredients are organic including the meat. I chose the gluten free option and the meals for two people for three days.
The options include:
Gluten Free

With so many options, it's unlikely that one wouldn't be able to find a meal plant that works for them.

The meals are super easy to prepare. The ingredients are pre-assembled and pre-measured. They also come color coded. A colored card for each meal shows the step by step instructions so it's hard to go wrong.

The Creole Steak was a hit. I have a teenage son but between my husband and my son, we're not big eaters. I was able to feed three of us on the recipe made for two. I doubt that would work for most families but I was excited it worked for us.
I love that the meals have great tasting veggie options. I was pleasantly surprised with the combination of butternut squash and red pepper with the creole seasoning. It's not a mix I would have thought of on my own but we loved it.

Our favorite meal was the Tandori Chicken. This meal and the most generous portion sizes and fed three instead of two. Again, it's only a two person meal but worked for my family of three small eaters. The garam masala seasoning mixed with tandoori yogurt sauce gave this a flavor I haven't tried before. The white quinoa with cinnamons a raisins added a slightly sweet flavor which went well with the chicken. I like the healthy alternative of quinoa to regular grain. My favorite was generous serving of vegetables.The green pepper and the sweet potatoes were a great combination.

I don't like eating meat every night so it was great to have a vegetarian option. I loved the Red Beet Risotto. I never imagined I would get a meal made with red beets. I love beets so I was excited to give this a try. I didn't care for the goat cheese on my risotto but my husband liked it. Out of three meals, only having one optional ingredient I didn't like was awesome. I left the goat cheese off my serving and enjoyed my risotto. I've never had a meal anything quite like this one and I felt like I was living on the edge trying something so different. I loved the citrus, snap peas, and mint salad. This one the one salad I wish had been a bigger serving. This was the one meal that only served two.

The meal service costs between $10.49 per person per meal to $14.99 per person per meal. I have to admit, when I thought about paying $30 per meal, it sounded expensive. However, as I broke down my grocery bill, it dawned on me that I buy a lot of things I don't need at the grocery store. By the time I factor in the time I save shopping and the extra things I wouldn't buy, the price didn't seem so bad after all. Since Green Chef is a subscription service, you get a delivery every week. I like that they give you the option of skipping weeks. I travel a lot so a weekly subscription doesn't work but knowing I can cancel weeks makes me more likely to use the service.

Taste ★★★★★
Convenience ★★★★★
Packaging ★★★★★

Want to try Green Chef? Get $50 off your first box HERE

Giveaway Details

Winner will receive a coupon for one free box of Green Chef meals which consists of three recipes that feed two people. Coupon does not include the $9.00 shipping charge but blog owner will provide a $9.00 Paypal credit for the winner. Winner must have a Paypal account to get the shipping credit. 

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. 
Contest ends 3/5/2017 at 11:59 EST

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Finding Comfort in hotter® Shoes: Review

Product received at no charge to facilitate an honest review.

I'm at the point in my life where comfort is the most important thing in my footwear. I'll gladly pay a premium price for shoes that support my flat foot and keep them from having pain. Hiking and running puts a lot strain on my feet. I'm constantly battling heel spurs and achilles tendon pain. I know I will never find a pair of shoes that will cure my problems but I'm always on the lookout for shoes that will keep my pain from getting worse. 

I've heard of hotter® Shoes and have wanted to try them ever since. Usually red is not my first choice for shoe color but I'm getting tired of the dreary dark days of winter and decided to go bold now that spring is inching closer. Plus with the many shirts I own that go with red shoes, I chose colorful instead of the safe browns and blacks I usually wear. The Nirvana Style looks stylish. I rarely receive compliments on my shoes but every time I've worn these I've received a compliment. My sisters all want a pair. They look great with pants and are perfect for everyday wear.

As much as I like the way my Nirvana hotter® Shoes look, I like the way they feel even more. They are lightweight and breathable for hot days. Best of all, they are comfortable enough to wear all day and never hurt my feet even when I do a lot of walking. The only drawback I had was with the sizing. I was sent a half size too big. I would not recommend sizing up as the hotter® Shoes seem true to size. The half size up was too much for me which means they slip off when I walk fast. However, the company does offer free returns so I'm sure there wouldn't be a problem returning a pair and exchanging them for another size. 

At first I wasn't sure I would be willing to spend the money on the Nirvana shoes but after trying a pair, I would buy another style and color. With the company offering plenty of sales and free shipping, the shoes don't end up being more expensive than they are worth. Like I said before, I don't mind paying a premium price for shoes if they are comfortable and hotter® Shoes offer plenty of comfort that makes them worth the price. I'm impressed that the company is the UK's biggest shoe manufacturer and I think they have well thought out designs that are truly more comfortable and flexible than the shoes I own made in Asia.

I've already got my sights set for the blue Shake Shoes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Adventure Travel in Puerto Rico: El Salto Waterfall Hiking and Zipline Tour

I admit, cruises aren't my favorite way to vacation. I would rather explore foreign countries than lounge on a ship. One of our summer vacations during 2016 included a family reunion cruise. I wanted at least one excursion that would get us off the ship to see the country not just the port. I spent a lot of time researching tours and finally settled on the El Salto Waterfall and Zipline Tour offered through Rocaliza Adventure Tours. I was not disappointed. I'm sure all six of our group would agree the tour was the highlight of our trip. 

Our tour guides picked us up near the cruise ship. We walked about two blocks to the pick up area. After an approximately 45 minute drive we arrived in the town of Caguas for our hike. The tour company requires that participants not weigh more than a set amount and be in relatively good physical condition. Just the hike up the road is a challenge as it is steep so I agree with the requirements. Closed toe sandals that can get wet like the ones HERE are a must for this hike and flip flops won't work. Most of the hike is in the water on slippery rocks. The guides were awesome in explaining how important it is to stay low so our arms could brace us.

The waterfalls at the top are amazing and it was fun to get in the pools by the falls. The rain forest vegetation ensures that the hike is beautiful along the way.

While we didn't have time to do the rappelling the tour group offers, we did have time for the zip line.  We loved that there were several platforms with various distances. I've done enough zip lines that I'm getting good at approaches and breaking.

Our group would have been satisfied with the tour if we had stopped at the zip line but we were lucky enough to have a home cooked Puerto Rican meal with chicken, rice, and banana flan for dessert. I'm not usually a fan of flan but the banana flan was the best I've ever had. It didn't take much for me to get it all down. I loved that one of the locals cooked our meal for us and had a seating area inside the local neighborhood. 

Our group loved the tour. The guides were awesome and we had a lot of fun. This is a great tour for teenagers but keep in mind, children younger than ten are not allowed. I would recommend this to anyone traveling to Puerto Rico as a great way to see the country and have fun while doing so.

Tour Rating ★★★★★

** Not a sponsored post though post contains affiliate links.**

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Baskets-N-Beyond Giveaway Ends 2/28

Welcome to the Baskets-n-Beyond Giveaway

Sponsored by Savvy Sweeper's Tidbits

Baskets-n-Beyond is a NJ based basket company that ships beautiful baskets for any occasion, all over the USA.  Many of their baskets ship from NJ or Missouri.
(Coming soon:  Wine baskets from California)

I have known Michele for many years, have visited her shop and ordered baskets from her.  Her baskets are beautiful and stuffed full of great items that the recipient will love!

Baskets are the perfect gift for any occasion.

There are baskets for everyone in you life~!

The Sports Lovers

The One Who Loves To Be Pampered

The Chocolate Lover

The Cookie Monster!

There are baskets for every occasion!

Breast cancer awareness

Valentine's Day

and so many more~

Here are all of the categories to choose from! Check out all of the beautiful baskets Michele has to offer!


Visit Baskets-n-Beyond for all of your gift basket needs!

Enter to win a basket of your choice, worth up to $50!

I'm teaming up with the sponsor to share with my readers.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

This giveaway is being sponsored by Savvy Sweeper's Tidbits.