BEST. IDEA. EVER.

Have you ever stopped to think about how much Singe Use Plastic you use? Things like straws, plastic silverware and cups? There is plastic in almost everything we purchase from the grocery store: shampoo, lotion, dish soap and laundry detergent. Wouldn’t it be great if you could take your bottle back to the store and just get a refill instead of buying a whole new bottle?

WELL NOW YOU CAN! The Refill Shoppe in Ventura, CA will refill your bottles for you! You can bring in any bottle from home or they have bottles for purchase in the store. It’s exactly like shopping in the bulk section of your grocery store! You can buy as little or as much as you need! I don’t know why more stores aren’t doing this because I think this idea is Genius!

Another great thing about The Refill Shoppe is that they do their best to source environmentally friendly products. ALL of the ingredients for each product can be found on their website. They shoot for organic, paraben free, cruelty free, vegan, socially responsible and clean in everything they sell. They prefer products made in the USA to support our economy.

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Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Well, that’s great if you live in Ventura, California! But I live in Rhode Island!” The Refill Shoppe has an online store and they can ship products to you! They use a refillable pouch that you empty into your container and included is a self-addressed, postage paid envelope and you return the pouch to be cleaned and reused! Isn’t that awesome?

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18452567_10211471173347418_593379323_oAfter you pick your products and they fill the bottles you can then choose to have your products scented. The refill shoppe uses essential oils and essential oil blends to make your lotions or shampoo smell great! You can also leave everything unscented if someone in your household has allergies or use your own doTerra Essential Oils at home to make your own blends!

So recycle those old glass bottles! Fill them up with yummy products that are clean and good for your skin! Vote with your dollars to support a company that is doing things right in the honor of sacred commerce. Support our environment by limiting the amount of plastic you purchase.

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And treat yourself to a lovely smelling bubble bath or some lotion scented just the way YOU prefer.

Enjoy!

 

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Trying On Guard!

I get sick EVERY time I fly. It never fails. With the enclosed space, the re-circulated air and 150 bodies – some of which are carrying nasty bacteria – I’m usually a goner. Within a few days of flying my throat gets itchy, my eyes water, I start sneezing and the misery sets in.

About a month ago I had a flight planned from California to New York for Valentines weekend. My boyfriend was being trained for a new job and he wanted to show me the big city! The problem was that he had been sick for a few days and I was really dreading coming down with his bug.

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(That’s me in the middle being overrun by two BIG guys on either side!)

As a Yoga Instructor and Health/Wellness Advocate I always try to use products that are holistic and pure which is getting more difficult these days. I don’t like it when I buy cough drops and there are ingredients that I can’t pronounce on the label! I want to use products that are pure and simple and effective! It’s the same principle as clean eating – no chemicals, no by-products and simple ingredients please.

So I decided to try something new. I bought some On Guard from a friend of mine. On Guard is an essential oil that you can use topically or take internally to boost your immune system and I was willing to try anything!

During the trip I used On Guard like perfume. I dotted a little under each ear, on my wrists and at the base of my neck. I used one or two drops each application. My boyfriend and I hadn’t seen each other for far too long and with the extra incentive of Valentines Day I knew there would be at least some Kissing!!!! 🙂

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(Proof of kissing.)

The trip was wonderful. I loved touring New York City even with the rain and snow. Even my flights went smoothly – which is a feat when flying all the way across the country! I returned home and began waiting to see if the sniffles would set it……and I waited……and waited……and waited…and almost a month later I still haven’t been sick!

So, if you’re like me and you are prone to picking up every sniffle going around, if you work in a school or daycare environment, If you are a nurse, If you fly a lot, If you have kids who get sick often, give On Guard a try. It worked better than I imagined. It’s the newest item in my arsenal of Good Stuff!

If you are interested in learning more about On Guard or any of the other doTerra products please visit my website and have a look! If you find something you like, you can have your choices shipped directly to your home! There are several On Guard products that can be used in your laundry, to sanitize your kitchen or even brush your teeth!

https://www.mydoterra.com/dawnjex/#/

My Birth – DAY on the Sea.

Okay, I know, I know!!! My birthday was last month! No, I’m not trying to drag out my birthday into another month but I do have something really important I want to talk to you about. It’s Balloons.

Most of us purchase balloons for our children’s birthday or maybe even to “let go” at our wedding shower. I see them in the grocery stores, the flower shops and even at restaurants sometimes. They are everywhere – Unfortunately.

After our last sail from Catalina Island to Ventura, California I will NEVER purchase another balloon. We saw at least 15 balloons floating randomly on the surface of the ocean and were able to save only six. I will say, it kind of felt like The Universe was saying “Happy Birthday DAWN!” because I have never seen so many balloons in the water.

But balloons don’t belong in the water. Fish try to eat them, birds get the strings wrapped around their necks and choke to death. Turtles get stuck in them. This is not a happy event for them!!!!

I know balloons look pretty and I know it’s a “thing” we human do to celebrate….but I KNOW we can find something else. I know we’re smarter than this! In fact,  If you are reading this,  I’m going to ask you to be bigger than balloons. I’m going to ask you to find another way – buy a cookie or a big cardboard sign or ANYTHING.

These oceans are OURS and we have to do what we can to try to keep them clean, to keep the fish healthy and to stop polluting our fricking home!

Because this:

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Is NOT worth this:

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P.S. We found a Mylar balloon in Joshua Tree as well 😦 Below is some more info for you. Please do your part to help. Namaste.

http://balloonsblow.org/impacts-on-wildlife-and-environment/

Sunrise in the Desert – Joshua Tree, CA

I woke up to the sound of my boyfriend saying, “Oh my God!” As he sat up quickly and I labored awake I wondered what the problem was. Had some animal gotten into our packs? Was a person entering our camp site? Then I realized he was looking at the sunrise. As I sat up to join him I saw that the sun had not yet peeked over the rim of the earth but it was casting a brilliant orange glow on the clouds that hung just over the horizon. The rest of the sky was a crystal clear blue! Good Morning Joshua Tree!!!!

We had been up late the night before watching the stars. It’s one of the main reasons we came here. When you are out in the Mohave Desert there is very little light to interfere with the amazing display that is put on every night by the Milky Way and all of her compatriots. We spent several hours lying on our backs oohing and ahhhing in amazement, naming the constellations we knew and making up names for any we didn’t. We even saw a few shooting stars!

I have always wanted to hike out to camp, carrying all that I needed on my back. Truth be told, it made me a little nervous to camp in the wild but I knew with my boyfriend I’d be in good hands. Little did I know that my first trip would be to the Twin Tanks area of Joshua Tree National Park.  We each carried a sleeping bag, pad, water, a few clothes, our tent and just enough food for an overnight trip. As we headed out from our truck I started to think, “What have I gotten myself into now? It’s HOT and I have to hike? I can do that right?” Don’t I look excited?  LOL

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The hiking was gentle and my guide was patient as we made our way out. Our camp site was a shallow depression on the east side of a large cluster of rocks. We quickly set up our tent and began to explore our home for the night. We climbed around the granite boulders, made our way through the sandy areas and up over some of the stones to make a circumnavigation of the area near our tent.

To the southwest we notice a huge white stone capping a nearby ridge and wandered over to check it out. It turned out to be a huge seam of Milky Quartz rising up from the earth! It looked like a man-made monument from afar but it’s placement is totally natural! Several large pieces had fallen down from the pinnacle looking like huge white ice cubes that would never melt. We left our own cairn of rocks to celebrate the natural beauty of this place!

We saw very few animals over the weekend and I’m sure that’s due to the lack of any water in the area.  I was mostly worried about snakes or scorpions climbing into our tent at night but luckily that didn’t happen! We did see one brilliant blue bird and a  hawk screaming as he flew overhead looking for lunch. A few rabbits scurried away as we explored and a small grey wren hopped around our camp site looking for food .

The real stars of the landscape are the resident cactus and their cousins! There was no need to remind me to steer clear of their sharp spines and needles! But when you get the chance to look closely at these beauties you can’t help but be mesmerized by their color and shape and form! These lovelies have thorns to protect themselves from being eaten! There is so little water here that they protect their juicy flesh by growing long spikes to make themselves unpalatable!

After we spent a few moments enjoying the sunrise and holding hands, we began to strike our camp site. Barry made coffee and I took a few minutes to stretch, breathe, feel the wind against my skin and listen to the silence that is this place. It was a quick trip but I left feeling grateful for my life. I am so blessed that I have the opportunity to visit these places, explore new parts of the country and enjoy the beauty that this world offers.

Life is such a gift. I hope that you can take a moment today to be grateful for your time here.  Go see the places you want to see. Put your toes in the sand or climb a hill and see the view. Drive out into the desert if that’s your thing. Beauty is all around if you’ll just take a moment to see it! – Namaste.

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Utthita Hasta Padangustasana – Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose

 

 

Mt. Rubidoux – Riverside CA

My friend Sharon knows the truth about me. She knows that I will go hiking and that I have the ability to do a strenuous hike but she also knows that I don’t really LIKE hiking. I love getting to see the view from the top. I love the camaraderie of hiking with a group of friends and I also love what hiking does for my body. But for some reason it’s just not my “go to” form of exercise.

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I am first and foremost a yogi. I practice yoga for about an hour each morning at home. It helps me be more flexible, it gets my blood flowing and my brain active and it also helps me be in a positive mood. After my yoga practice I like to do something else that is complementary to a healthy/happy lifestyle. Sometimes I ride my bike or paddle board. Sometimes I swim or go to a Zumba class. Today I hiked Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside, CA.

I guess it’s not really fair to call what I did today “hiking.” That word brings forth images of climbing over rocks and roots, needing to use my hands to pull myself up higher and I certainly didn’t need to do that! The trail at Mt. Rubidoux is a gentle up hill walk. The 3 mile trail is wide, flat and paved. I was there at 8am and already there was a steady stream of people. I saw folks running, moms pushing strollers, groups of ladies visiting and even a guy walking his gorgeous Iguana!!!!!! That was a first for me!

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Mt. Rubidoux is just short of 1400 feet in altitude but from its peak you are awarded a 360 degree view of the surrounding neighborhoods, downtown Riverside and the mountains nearby. The terrain on the mountain is very different from what I am used to in the Pacific Northwest. Here it is very dry and brown. Big rocks poke out of the earth or stack on top of each other. Small scrubby bushes cling to every centimeter of earth in search of water.

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The thing that I loved the most about my walk today was how happy everyone was! Many people said hello or morning as we passed. One of the stroller moms gave me directions about how the trail worked. I gave and received exuberant high fives from several people running down from the summit and another person even stopped to help me pick trash out of the bushes! It was definitely a peaceful community feeling.

This is what exercise and being in nature does for us humans. It gives us a chance to remember that we all have a hard time walking up hill! That we are all on this planet together. That we are trying to be healthy and fit. That this is our community, our park and we should work together to keep it clean. And that it’s a good thing to cheer each other on!

I hope you are able to find a little peace in your life today.

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Breitenbush Hot Springs, Canada

I sat in the steaming hot water up to my shoulders my back against the smooth rock wall, watching the rain drip down from the pine tree and huckleberry branches overhead, making slow circle art that expanded across the surface of the rock lined pool. I could hear the river rushing below the hill and feel my worries start to melt away as my skin turned pink and my gaze became more and more unfocused and relaxed.

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(The middle pool)

I had heard of Breitenbush before but I had never been here. I’ve been to nearby Bagby and Harrison hot springs up in Canada. I event stopped at some small hot springs in Wyoming. But Breitenbush hot springs is on a whole new level!

Breitenbush is located an hour east of Salem, Oregon just out of Detroit. The spring sits back off the main road about 10 miles. There is no cell service, no wifi and nothing better to do than eat some glorious food, sleep and relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs that flow out of the ground.

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What blew me away was that the price of your stay at Breitenbush covers everything! 3 delicious vegetarian meals, as much soaking in the springs as you can handle, use of the wet sauna and also various wellness classes – FREE.! That’s right. Free. One price for everything.

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(The cabin I shared for the night)

I attended a fantastic yoga class while I was at Breitenbush. Rob looked to be about 24 years old. (Young enough to be my son!) He had long wavy blonde hair pulled back into a pony tail, a very quiet and relaxed attitude and a gorgeous, muscled, slim body. He looked like he practiced a lot! He led us through a slow Ashtanga practice that incorporated long-held poses. It was slow and gentle but it was challenging! It was the kind of practice that made me want to work harder, be more focussed and be a better yogi!  It was exactly what I needed after 5 days of driving across the country!

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(The sanctuary where we practiced yoga)

I had left Franklin, Tennessee five days before. I was averaging 9 hours per day behind the wheel. I wanted to make it across to the west coast as quickly as possible. I had driven through snow, over mountain passes and through long flat stretches where it was just me and the truckers. And driving a mini cooper amongst 18-wheelers affords a brand new kind of stress and awareness – let me tell you!

I really needed Breitenbush. I needed the yoga to stretch out my stiff hips and back. I needed the hot springs that made my muscles melt and my brain relax. I needed the healthy food after days of fast food. And I needed the connection with people. I had been alone for the whole trip and visiting with the other hippies made me feel right at home!

So if you’re ever driving through the middle of Oregon on the back roads take a little detour and check it out. I promise you’ll be glad you did. I’m already planning when I can go back again! Namaste Peeps!

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Come Play – Utah Style!

I know I’m in Utah but I feel as if I am visiting another planet! Everything is so different here and so RED! Towering cliffs rise thousands of feet above the ground surrounded by skirts of rubble. Gigantic stone spires resemble soldiers frozen in place. Mountains that look like castles for giants. Cavernous valleys that include every color of the rainbow.  And every bit of it is hauntingly beautiful and inviting me to come play!

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This is my Christmas Present – this trip through the high desert southwest. I mentioned to my boyfriend that I had never seen the Grand Canyon nor the National Parks such as Arches or Canyonlands in southern Utah so he planned a trip to bring me here! So far, I think it’s the best Christmas present I’ve ever received!

Our first day in Moab, Utah we headed straight to Arches National Park. The sky was brilliant blue and the sun was shining – something we seldom see in Seattle! I enjoy hiking and the 2 miles was an easy trek for me. As we came around the last bend in the trail and I saw Delicate Arch I said, “Well, Hello Gorgeous!” and let out a laugh!

Delicate Arch is a freestanding Arch on the far side of a large rounded bowl that has a huge hole at the center! I knew I was going to make my way over to the arch somehow – but having a fear of heights makes things a little sketchy for me. It took me awhile to accomplish and I was shaking like a leaf the whole time but I will never forget the feeling of standing inside that Arch. I felt light, happy, playful and giddy beyond all belief!

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It’s very similar to the feeling I had the first time I did a handstand all by myself! I was at work – in a closed studio room – and when I kicked my feet up and touched the wall I let out a shout so loud that people came running to see what had happeened. I was so happy that it bubbled up out of me!!!! I had done it! I had done a handstand! I had walked over to the arch! Yay!!!!! Woohoo!!!!! Happy Dance!!!!!! Look what I did!!!!!

I love that moment in life. That moment when you feel connected. That moment where heart, mind and body are ONE. That moment when Joy is felt in every pore of your being. No matter where I go, or what yoga studio I visit I know that I will feel that connection. Each teacher does things a little differently but my practice will always give me joy. I will feel peaceful, accomplished, and filled with wonder EVERY time.

Today I practiced at  Moab Yoga.  Our instructor Lily Houghton has been teachging Yoga for about 2 years. She also works for the National Park Service so she’s familiar with the awe and wonder available in the nearby parks! Lily is a great yoga teacher.  Her voice combined with her gentle instructions make for a calm practice which is exactly what I needed after all the recent excitement.

My favorite part of visiting studios is that I get to see and learn new things! What I learned today was Lily’s transition from Pigeon Prep Pose to Cow Faced Pose. After Pigeon Prep – we rolled onto the front outer hip bringing the back leg to the front and crossing it over at the knees. I had never seen it done that way before!

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Yoga is my constant in a life full of gypsy travel and change. Whether it is that “Yahoo!” moment of handstand or the serenity of a peaceful practice. Both are important parts of my life. I love my yoga gypsy lifestyle. I hope you love your life too. Namaste y’all!