Heal Your Pup’s Wounds & Soften Paws With DIY Fido’s Boo-Boo Balm

My dog Sirius loves to go on adventures with me, whether it be hiking in the woods or kayaking on a river, he is down to play. I am currently planning a solo backpacking trip down the Lone Star Hiking Trail (100 mi) and intend to bring him along, to keep me company. It goes without saying, the trouble that dogs can get themselves into. They are after all, just as excited as we are to get outside and play! Sometimes that means you have to step into Mom/Dad mode and take care of them when they need you the most.

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Homemade Roasted Chickpeas – A Crunchy Protein Packed Snack In 7 Different Flavors

If you have yet to try roasted chickpeas, you are so totally missing out! They are like the healthy vegan version of Corn-Nuts! Do you remember Corn-Nuts as I do? I used to be addicted to the ranch flavored Corn-Nuts and the first time that I tried a bag of roasted chickpeas I had brought home from Costco, I was totally stoked to find a much healthier alternative to my childhood favorite snack. The best part? Their chock full of protein, manganese, iron, and folate! You can’t beat a healthy snack that’s salty and crunchy!

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Boost Your Energy Naturally – 5 Maca Energy Bar Recipes For Athletes

I have never loved running. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to run unless they were being chased by a creepy clown or zombies, but it seems that I have a thing for pain. Or maybe I just like accomplishing things that sound totally outside of my comfort zone. Either way, I have decided to put aside my dislike for running and train for a 5K marathon. Who would have thought that me, of all people, could be heard saying “I want to train for and complete a marathon!” 

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Going Beyond My Limits – My Adventures At The First Ever REI Outessa Summit Part 2

I went to the REI Outessa Summit in hopes of making new outdoor loving girlfriends, to learn more about the outdoor sports I already love, and to find new passions to put my time and energy into. I went to this event with high hopes, but I came home with so much more than I had anticipated. I came home already counting the days until next year's summit because I am planning to go EVERY year! At the end of part 1 in this two-part series, I went to bed sweaty, dirty, and extremely happy from all that I had experienced so far. I couldn't imagine how the weekend could get any better, but it totally did.

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Finding My Tribe Out In The Wild – My Adventures At The First Ever REI Outessa Summit Part 1

As we pulled up to the Dallas Love Field Airport, I kissed the kiddo goodbye and loaded all of my camping gear onto my back. I was ready for a weekend of summiting mountains, kayaking, camping under the stars, and most of all making friends with other badass outdoor loving chicks, at the first-ever REI Outessa Summit. I stumbled clumsily towards the airport check-counter with my huge load of gear, and smiled at the Southwest Airlines representative, happy to relieve myself of the massive weight that my gear put on my small frame. I couldn't help but speculate how my weekend would go. Even though I had already spent months organizing my schedule of classes for this event, I still spent all of my travel time looking over the hundreds of classes I could take that weekend. Before I even landed in Salt Lake City, Utah, I had once again rearranged my schedule to fit my changing moods.

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How 15 Miles On Foot Changed Our Outlooks – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 4

Fifteen miles may not seem that far to the avid hiker, but to a 6-year-old and his two parents carrying enough for three between their two heavy packs, it can feel like crossing a continent. Our family backpacking trip was going far better than planned, but we still had 6 miles to finish our goal and reach our car. On the third morning, we awoke to the magnificent sunrise, signaling the beginning of a new day. Once again, Syfy had slept like a baby in his sleeping bag, with no pad underneath him. Letting Syfy sleep in a little longer, I climbed out of my hammock and crawled into the tent to begin the daily ritual of making breakfast and packing up our camp.  Today we would accomplish our goal as a family, and finish hiking the Butterfield Hiking Trail.

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Joy Comes From Hanging In The Trees – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 3

Our first day on the Butterfield Hiking trail was definitely the hardest day of our backpacking trip. More than once we questioned our abilities to complete the task, but found certain comforts in falling asleep together under one tent. While Syfy slept like a baby, the Hippy Hubby and I were up nearly all night long trying to find comfort on a very hard rock for our bed. I had made the mistake of not buying sleeping pads, and we both paid for it with bruises lining our hips, and dark circles under our eyes. I won't make that mistake EVER again.

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Coming Together Under One Magnificent Tent – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 2

The car trip from Dallas, TX to Devil's Den State Park, Arkansas, only took us 4 1/2 hours. Even though I have been to Arkansas before for a wakeboarding trip, I had never been up in Devil's Den and was totally blown away by just how different it was. The flat plains of Texas began to turn into rolling hills, like mountains to a native Texan, but I am not a native Texan. As we entered Devil's Den State Park, Syfy and I both became very excited. With every turn around each tight corner, we drove deeper and deeper into the woods and farther away from society. Overwhelmed with happiness, I opened my window so that I could take huge breaths of the fresh air that my lungs missed while living in the city. “This is the BEST day ever!” Syfy shouted, opening his window to feel the cool forest air outside. I couldn't help but agree with him. This WAS looking like one of the best days ever.

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Preparing My Family For The Butterfield Hiking Trail – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 1

I was so excited for our very first family backpacking trip, I could barely sleep the week before the trip. I had so many things to take care of; backpacks to pack, last minute shopping trips that needed to be made, and the rest of our dehydrated meals needed to be put together. So much time had been put into this trip, I was hoping that this didn't turn out to be a huge flop. I didn't want my family to decide that they absolutely hated camping and backpacking, because of a National Lampoon's style vacation. I wanted everything to be perfect, but you never can count on things going exactly as planned when you are taking your family out into the great outdoors! This perfect image in my head would have been a much less memorable vacation, than the one that we actually experienced.

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7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with Vegan/Vegetarian Alternatives)

Our very first family backpacking trip was a HUGE success! We had so much fun and it really brought us closer together. On our trip, our homemade dehydrated meals definitely stood out and made a huge difference on how awesome our trip was! I had spent the last couple of months dehydrating all of the fruits, veggies, and proteins that we needed for this trip. I wanted us to eat healthy whole foods meals without all the icky additives. After seeing the ingredients on the tasteless packaged meals made for the trail, I knew I wanted to make our own backpacking meals instead, but with three different diets in our family, the tasked daunted me.

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