The 12 Best Outdoor Activities To Enjoy This Fall

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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This post is sponosored by Wiivv. All opinions are my own.

Whether I’m adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv custom insoles are making every step even better. So you don’t feel left out, I’ve put together a collection of the 12 best outdoor activities for fall. These activities are perfect for bringing friends and family together – even if you’re an empty nester like I am. (Not to mention you’ll have some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Fun Outdoor Activities to Enjoy This Fall. Whether you enjoy adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration, the custom insoles from Wiivv will make every step even better! If you're looking for fun, adventure filled activities, then check out this collection of the best 12 outdoor activities for fall. #fall #activities #fun #adventure #outdoors #festivals

I suffer from fibromyalgia. This means more than my fair share of painful days. However, one of the best natural treatments for tackling fibromyalgia pain is to stay active. Therefore, comfortable shoes are a must. Unfortunately, due to both my body’s limitations as well as a low arch, even walking can sometimes be painful. With Wiivv’s custom insoles, my feet are pain free after a walk on the greenway or a hike up my favorites trails. I also no longer have to sacrifice style for comfort when I want to spend a night out dancing to one of my favorite local bands.

I can’t even imagine if I had to be on my feet all day for work without my Wiivv insoles! (Especially since my favorite shoes are busted, stained and have literally no arch support.) They make such a big difference. I highly recommend them for anyone who’s been experiencing foot pain. They’re perfect for shoes with no support, new shoes that haven’t been broken in yet and old shoes in which the insoles are completely worn out. Because they are 3-D printed to fit your feet, you always get a perfect fit.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Decorate the pavement with sidewalk chalk. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Lucky for me, my hometown of Roanoke, VA has made a LOT of progress over the past decade to make our city more friendly for foot traffic. They’ve invested in both a greenway and our river. They have built boat access docks for kayaking as well as bike rental stations throughout the downtown area. Because Roanoke is nestled in the valley and surrounded by the Blue Ridge mountains, hiking and camping trips are super convenient. We also have quite a few wineries in the surrounding area, including one on our very own mountain top.

If you don’t live in an adventure filled locale, don’t worry. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting on your thinking cap and coming up with creative solutions. Or take a day trip to somewhere close by and really make those fall memories that you’ll remember for years to come.

With the weather finally starting to cool down from a stifling summer, fall is the perfect time to slip your sole insoles into your favorite hiking shoes. Or try Wiivv’s custom sandals, made to fit your feet, for comfortable walks around town and down by the river. Following are some of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. However, I’d love for you to share your own favorite outdoor activities for fall in the comments!

Fun Outdoor Activities to Enjoy This Fall. Whether you enjoy adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration, the custom insoles from Wiivv will make every step even better! If you're looking for fun, adventure filled activities, then check out this collection of the best 12 outdoor activities for fall. #fall #activities #fun #adventure #outdoors #festivals

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall

Go on a bike ride.

While mountain biking is totally plausible in my area, a simple leisurely bike ride on the greenway or around downtown Roanoke is the perfect outdoor fall activity for the entire family. There are 30 miles of urban trails that connect to scenic nature spots, charming neighborhoods and our bustling downtown area.

If you don’t own a bicycle, check to see if your local bike shop rents bikes by the hour. Or look into areas that offer bike sharing. Zagster is a bike share network lets you rent bicycles from any of their convenient pick up and drop off locations by the hour or through a monthly membership.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go on a picnic. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go on a picnic.

Picnics also make great outdoor activities for fall. You can live pretty much anywhere and plan a fall picnic. However, my favorite picnic spot is one of our local wineries, Vahalla. Not only can my friends and I enjoy a wine a tasting at this winery, they also offer seating and picnic tables. So you can buy a bottle of wine and enjoy it outside with your own picnic lunch!

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Enjoy the view from the mountaintop. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

I love the view from the top of the mountain at this winery. And that there are fewer insects in the fall makes the event even more enjoyable. There are wineries all over the United States. So even if you don’t have a winery in your city, there’s a good chance you can find one close by – or at least within an hour or so of your home.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Take a trip to the zoo. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Take a trip to the zoo.

It was a complete surprise to me that one of my most favorite outdoor activities for fall would be a trip to the zoo. Because zoos are just for kids, right? Wrong. Our local zoo, Mill Mountain Zoo, runs fundraising activities for adults throughout the year. A worthy cause, the money goes to support animals that are unable to be released back into the wild as well as to support breeding programs for animals at high risk for extinction.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

They also do a lot of educational work with local schools – something that my roommate, Bambi, is in charge of. I think her favorite part of her outreach however, is taking animals to visit residents at our local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Some of their regular fundraising events include a monthly Breakfast with the Animals and their semi-regular event, Brew at the Zoo.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Attend a local fundraiser complete with craft beer and food trucks. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)
Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Dance at local event. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Brew at the Zoo is probably my favorite event that I’ve attended. Not only is there live acoustic music (I can dance FOREVER with my new Wiivv insoles) but there’s also beer from local breweries and a food truck. This fall they are also hosting their annual Zoo Boo fundraiser. This family friendly event offers trick-or-treating for kids and costume contests as well as performances and “spooktacular” art activities – all outdoors!

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Get your face painted. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

If you have a zoo close by, I highly encourage you to check out their events page. It’s a safe bet they offer a variety of adult themed, outdoor activities for fall that allow you not only to socialize, but will make you feel like a kid again!

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go hiking. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go hiking.

I grew up hiking with my family from a young age. So it has always been another of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. However, since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it’s not always something my body will let me do. So when I hike, I tend to stick to the easier trails that are under four miles round trip.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Living by the mountains we have hiking trails everywhere! One of which is just a short 20 minute drive down the road. Nestled within a residential neighborhood, Read Mountain Preserve offers several trail options. My favorite of which is the Buzzards Rock lookout.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Take a hike. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

I fully admit that I’ve started up this mountain and had to turn around not even a quarter of the way up as the my body wouldn’t cooperate. However, I was able to make this hike last weekend. Reaching the top of that mountain was exhausting, but incredibly amazing. My Wiivv insoles really helped on this hike. And those shin splints I usually get after my first hike of the year, were almost nonexistent this go around.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go on a hike. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

As my boyfriend, Greg, only just moved to Roanoke last December, it was his first time on this trail. So it was quite the adventure for both of us. I also love hiking up Cascade Falls which is located just outside of Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go on a nature walk. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go on a nature walk.

You don’t have to live anywhere in particular to take a nature walk. You can simply explore your local neighborhood and forage for acorns or pinecones to take home and use as part of your fall decor. Or take photographs of the different fall leaves to look up what kinds of trees are in your area as an educational experience for the family.

We actually have a wonderful local artisan from Floyd, VA who hunts for fabulous fungi that she later dries and uses to make unique one-of-a-kind jewelry for her small business, Woodland Wonders.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go river tubing. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go river tubing.

Tubing on the river is fun in the summer, but it’s glorious in the fall. As I’m fair skinned I burn like mad if I’m anywhere near water during the summer – even with SPF 50. So I actually enjoy river tubing as one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. Not only do I not have to contend with the heat, but there’s also less of chance I’m going to look like a lobster by the end of the trip.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go kayaking. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go kayaking.

If floating lazily down the river isn’t really your speed, consider kayaking instead. The 45-mile Roanoke River Blueway is a water trail that offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, tubing and wading – all while taking in the local wildlife. This waterway passes through and around Roanoke, Virginia and its surrounding counties. The Roanoke River has 17 public access points, some of which also offer picnic areas and playgrounds.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Visit your local farmer's market. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Visit your local farmer’s market.

Another one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall is visiting the Historic Roanoke City Market on Saturday mornings. The walk through the market is always enjoyable. In addition to seasonal plants, fruits and vegetables that can be found at our market, there are also some pretty amazing artisans that sell their handmade soaps, pottery, stained glass, jewelry and photographs. I can’t think of a better way to spend a shopping trip than with a mix of an outdoor walk and pleasant conversations from fellow crafters.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Take a walking tour of local art galleries. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Take a walking tour of your area’s local art galleries.

Roanoke is lucky enough that we have quite a few art galleries located downtown. All of the galleries are within walking distance of one another. On the first Friday of each month, all of the galleries participate in an event coined Art By Night. The local art galleries stay open late for this free event so those who work during the day have the chance to attend.

I love walking to and visiting each of the galleries in our downtown urban spaces and seeing new works by local artists. Many of the galleries also offer free hors d’oeuvres and wine. Which, I’m not gonna lie, makes the event even more enjoyable.

Fun Outdoor Activities to Enjoy This Fall. Whether you enjoy adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration, the custom insoles from Wiivv will make every step even better! If you're looking for fun, adventure filled activities, then check out this collection of the best 12 outdoor activities for fall. #fall #activities #fun #adventure #outdoors #festivals

Hunt for river rocks.

Another one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall is rock hunting. This past summer Greg and I spent a lot of time at a local park doing just that. This park, in particular, has several easy hiking trails as well as a creek running through it. (My mom would bring me to this park when I was little and I used to bring home crawdads I’d find in the creek.) So we had a great time exploring the creek for the length of the park and collecting rocks that we took home to paint later.

I’ll admit, I got super excited when Greg and I found a painted art rock someone had hid along the greenway this summer. So, of course, that inspired me to paint and hide rocks as well. Unfortunately we’ve not had any fruitful finds on our hunts since, but we really enjoy the process of finding, painting and hiding our rocks nonetheless.

Fun Outdoor Activities to Enjoy This Fall. Whether you enjoy adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration, the custom insoles from Wiivv will make every step even better! If you're looking for fun, adventure filled activities, then check out this collection of the best 12 outdoor activities for fall. #fall #activities #fun #adventure #outdoors #festivals

Jasper also accompanied us on a few of our adventures. Unfortunately he was not as interested in the water as we were. And being that he has short, stubby little legs, I can understand him not really getting into traipsing through a creek that left his belly soaking wet. We did spot a crawdad on one such trip. It was so large it almost looked like a lobster. Jasper, being the grumpy little man that he is, was even less interested in the crawdads. But I think deep down he secretly enjoyed the park regardless.

Attend an outdoor Halloween inspired event.

Halloween means even more fun outdoor activities for fall. While walking through a haunted house is never really on my bucket list (I was terrified by someone grabbing my ankle in a haunted house when I was four) most localities plan extra events centered around this holiday.

While we don’t have a local amusement park to celebrate Halloween outdoors, we do have mini golf. Yep, mini golf. This October, the Explore Park in Roanoke County is hosting its first ever Haunted Woods Mini Golf event for Halloween. This event will feature 18-holes of miniature golf accented with ghouls, goblins and frightening decor. While the glow-in-the-dark golf balls will help you on your journey along the way. So be sure to check out your city’s local government or event page to find out what’s happening in your community this Halloween.

Attend a fall festival.

Fall festivals always top my list of favorite outdoor activities for fall. I alway enjoy our local Harvest Festival on the Roanoke City Market. However there also events at local farms where you can enjoy hayrides and corn mazes. Or swing by a local fall wine or beer festival to enjoy a tasting of the latest seasonally inspired brews.

Our annual Go Outside! Festival (or GO Fest for short) in Roanoke encourages people to spend more time outdoors with activities like on-site camping, a BMX stunt show and live music events. There’s also a air flying dog show that’s always fun to watch. Or you can learn about wilderness first aid or play a round of air golf.

There are so many great outdoor activities to enjoy this fall, it’s hard to pick just one. So why not try them all? (Just don’t forget to take your Wiivv custom insoles or sandals along with you on your journeys!)

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities for fall in your area? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

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My Daily Supplement Regimen for Managing Fibromyalgia Naturally (Without Prescription Medications)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Learn how to naturally manage fibromyalgia symptoms with herbal supplements to prevent and reduce pain without prescription medications.

How to Treat Fibromyalgia Without Drugs or Pain Killers. Learn how to naturally manage fibromyalgia to prevent and reduce pain symptoms without prescription medications so you can get back to living an active and healthy lifestyle again! #fibromyalgia #healthyliving #chronicillness #naturalalternative #nutrition #supplements #painrelief #healthyliving #healthylifestyle

Life is a journey, as they say. However, if you live with a chronic illness, that illness is an entirely separate journey in itself. And like all journeys, this journey has turns we can never predict. Answers we might not ever find. It’s when you learn how to manage your chronic illness that you’re able to take the reins and curb your journey into more positive results.

Living with Fibromyalgia

Hi, my name is Rebecca. You can’t tell by looking at me, but I have a chronic illness. I have fibromyalgia.

While I have fibromyalgia, I consider myself lucky. My brother, Aaron, has lupus. His autoimmune disease, which attacks his organs, could kill him. Mine will not.

In the beginning, I had days where my pain was so excruciating I would have done almost anything to make the pain stop. And that is how my journey with fibromyalgia began. It started with unending pain that plateaued in the evening to become unbearable by nightfall. I remember waiting for hours in the emergency room hoping for answers. I didn’t want drugs. I wanted to know what was wrong with me. How could I fix it? What could I do to get my life back?

As part of my journey to relieve the pain, that there was no medical answer for, I discovered something else. That discovery was wellness.

For years I’d been plagued by gut issues that I never even realized were a problem. That is, until they were. So when I was diagnosed with fibro, I took the route my physician gave me. One that included pain killers, muscle relaxers and off-label use of anti-seizure drugs.

I didn’t get better. In fact, while the drugs offered relief while I was on them, my symptoms actually got worse. I also became addicted to the pain killers I was prescribed. So as they wore off, I’d have increasing pain in addition to symptoms of withdrawal. Not a fun combo.

Making Changes to Naturally Treat Fibromyalgia

So I came off of the drugs. (Which was not fun.) The aftermath including enduring several months of hell, but I did it. I followed the withdrawal (because I’m a F-ing masochist and went cold turkey) with steps to repair my gut health.

I learned to love kombucha and developed a taste for apple cider vinegar. I started eating things that had been pickled and fermented. I added superfoods to my diet and dark, leafy vegetables. Overall, I treated my fibromyalgia like something else entirely. I approached my illness the way a nutritionist would and I treated it like leaky gut syndrome.

As part of my process there was a lot of trial and error. I discovered that switching to an aluminum free, natural deodorant really made a difference. I learned that processed foods made me sluggish and left me in a fog. I found out that stress triggered a physical response that caused my brain to respond with pain. I also learned that hormone changes suck extra hard if you have fibro.

Once I improved my gut health, I started trying different supplements to manage the remaining symptoms. The following supplements are the ones I finally settled on to treat and prevent the symptoms of my fibromyalgia, drug free, and that I am still currently taking.

Natural Supplements for Managing Fibromyalgia Symptoms

New Chapter Zyflamend Whole Body

Packed with inflammation busting ingredients like turmeric and ginger, this natural whole body supplement also contains skullcap which I’ve found not only helps to calm anxiety, but overactive muscles as well. This proprietary 10-herb blend is 100% vegetarian and non-GMO certified and also contains other wellness boosters from around the world including Chinese Goldthread, Hu Zhang, barberry, oregano, rosemary, green tea and holy basil. (Where to buy it.)

Lovebug Here’s the Skinny Daily Probiotic

In addition to pain, fibro makes you SOOO tired. This probiotic – and I’ve tried a LOT of them – not only helps keep my gut in check, but it also helps with energy levels. Like most probiotics, Here’s the Skinny works to improve your digestive health.

It contains 8 targeted probiotic strains that work in tandem to aid with digestion, work to reboot your metabolism and help to elevate energy levels and mood. While this helps to combat unwanted digestive issues like bloating, constipation and leaky gut, Here’s the Skinny also includes prebiotics – a natural fiber that feeds the probiotics! (Where to buy it.)

Ancient Apothecary Fermented Multi Mushroom Complex

Packed with powerful adaptogens, this mushroom complex helps to boost your body’s immune defense and fight the effects of stress and anxiety. It also helps to naturally increase increase energy levels, reduce fatigue and promote a healthy mood.

This full-spectrum fermented mushroom complex contains Turkey Tail, Reishi, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Maitake mushrooms in addition to a fermented warming botanical blend (that includes ginger and black pepper,) organic ashwagandha extract and an organic fermented bitter botanical blend (with milk thistle and dandelion.) (Where to buy it.)

Hemp Fusion Stress Full-Spectrum Phytocomplex

Like the fermented mushroom complex, this hemp based supplement also contains ashwaghanda extract which helps to promote a healthy stress response. HempFusion Stress features Sensoril™, a clinically studied and patented form of Ashwagandha, which has been demonstrated to possess potent stress-reducing and mood supporting properties.

This natural supplement also contains a unique full-spectrum phytocomplex oil extracted from nutritional hemp, black pepper fruit and clove oil for those seeking occasional stress support in addition to daily Endocannabinoid System support. (Where to buy it.)

Thrive Market Vitamin B-Complex Food Cultured

Another natural energy booster, this B-Complex is a group of eight essential vitamins designed to help your body convert the food you eat into energy. Sourced and cultured from whole food ingredients like organic spinach and turmeric, along with other specialized blends, this supplement also contains ginseng to help get your body moving without that extra cup of coffee. (Where to buy it.)

Nature’s Bounty Vitamin D3 25 mcg (1000 IU Rapid Release Soft Gels)

Vitamin D is a MUST for anyone with fibromyalgia as well as women over 40. When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I had extremely low levels of vitamin D which caused worsening pain symptoms. Maintaining the levels of vitamin D in your body not only helps to reduce severity of fibro pain, it also supports a strong immune system and healthy bones. (Where to buy it.)

Charlotte’s Web Hemp Capsules +Plus 35 mg

Charlotte’s Web is one of the oldest and most trusted brands to create product that harness the wellness benefits of CBD and phytocannabinoids. When used daily, I have lower stress levels, reduced anxiety and zero back pain (from tension) upon waking each morning. It also helps with focus and concentration.

I’ve tried various brands of CBD and I’ve always come back to Charlotte’s Web as my fibromyalgia responds best to this brand’s formula. I also love that this is a capsule rather than an oil. I take 1-2 capsules per day depending on my pain level and find this works best when taken on a daily basis. (Where to buy it.)

When experiencing significant pain levels, I really like Flower Child’s CBD 1400 tincture which contains 47mg of CBD. (I recommend sticking to the peppermint.) I also highly recommend their CBG oil. CBG oil increases my focus and clarity (bye-bye fibro fog) and helps to reduce my muscle contractions that accompany the fibromyalgia. You can use coupon code: ref0716498 for $10 off a $30 purchase. (Where to buy it.)

Nature’s Bounty Magnesium 500 mg

This gluten free magnesium supplement works well in combination with a vitamin B complex at helping to prevent my visual migraines. It also supports bone and muscle health, while maintaining bone mineralization, and helps to keep my pain levels at a minimum. (Where to buy it.)

Gaia Herbs Mental Alertness

Fibro fog straight up sucks. While it’s nothing like dealing with pain, it stills affects my life, and more importantly, my work. This supplement works wonders at conquering my fibro fog. I can literally sit down and write for hours when I take this without having to stand and pace every 5-10 minutes to gather my thoughts.

Formulated with plant-based antioxidants to help support the integrity of vessels that deliver blood to the brain, this organic supplement also enhances cognitive functions with concentrated herbal extracts that support memory, concentration and clear thought. (Where to buy it.)

Due to the high cost of natural supplements, I try to save money where I can. Therefore I purchase all of these supplements through Thrive Market with the exception of the probiotics, which I purchase from Grove Co., and the vitamin D & magnesium which I procure locally.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that just because something works for me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work the same way for you. Everyones body and response to treatments can vary. However, my hope is, that you are able to use the information I’ve provided to help forge your own path to wellness.

Just remember, when you cut corners on a project or a job, that project suffers. The same goes for your health. So don’t forget to stay active and practice self care on a daily basis in addition to addressing your body’s nutritional needs!

This natural pain relief salve recipe with arnica and ginger essential oil is made with just four simple ingredients to relieve inflammation and ease pain associated with muscle pain, arthritis, sprains, fibromyalgia, bruises and carpal tunnel. Make this natural home remedy in just ten minutes or less!

Explore More Health And Wellness Options

If you found the information in this post helpful, then you may also be interested in these other health and wellness articles.

Natural Deodorant Recipe with French Green Clay! Whether you prefer a stick or a cream deodorant, this versatile lavender bergamot deodorant recipe with French green clay offers some of the best wetness and odor protection yet! And it's completely 100% natural. #deodorant #diy #health #wellness #skincare #recipe #natural #beauty #lifestyle

Like my pill box? You can buy it here.

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This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

The Year I Lived With Agoraphobia (And Other Things We Don’t Talk About)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Sometimes we catch ourselves in a trap of our own making. Which is exactly how I came to be diagnosed with agoraphobia in the first place.

The year I lived with agoraphobia. (And other things we don't talk about.) Sometimes we catch ourselves in a trap of our own making. Which is exactly how I came to be diagnosed with agoraphobia in the first place.

The feeling you get.

Have you ever felt your chest get tight going over an interstate bridge? It’s followed by this onset of panic. You feel like you’re just not going to make off that bridge unless it’s over the side. Any second you could lose control of the car. And so you grip the wheel tighter. Your knuckles turn white. You’re gritting your teeth. Then, finally, finally, you’ve reached the other side.

Where am I going?

I was never one of those career driven people. Like many of us, I didn’t really figure out what I wanted to do with my life (job wise) until I was in my mid-30’s. At that point in my life, I already knew people entering their 40’s who still had no clue what direction they were headed in. So I didn’t really stress over it as much as some people do.

It’s funny because we’re expected to know what we want to do with our lives as soon as we graduate high school. Very few of us are that far sighted. Which is why so many of us change our major at least once, if not twice, in college. Many of my friends, in fact, aren’t even working in the same field as their college major. As for me, I graduated college with a BA in fine arts after 7 1/2 years (and my son along the way) and still had no idea what to do with my life.

The past three years or so have been a whirlwind for me. I’ve started over a few times. I’ve moved a lot. I took a brave leap and quit my day job to become a writer with zero savings. My only business plan was to “write more.” I got married and then divorced again – all in under a year. Most of my friends know me as being extremely gregarious. I’m occasionally overbearing. I ask too many questions. I treat strangers like family. So it’s a surprise to most people when they find out I was once diagnosed with agoraphobia.

How did I get there?

Well, like all stories, this story requires some backstory. The story, as it was told to me, begins around the time my brother was born.

I was 3 1/2 when my brother was born. My dad, who really enjoyed hunting at the time, had promised that he’d stay home to help my mom with my brother. Seeing as he was born in October, however, he sort of maybe took off on a hunting trip instead. So my mother “sent me away” to spend the weekend with my aunt. That way she only had one child to contend with and not two. (And believe me, as a once upon a time single mother, I completely understand.)

My parents also started spanking me sometime around this age. They’d planned on being progressive baby boomer parents who didn’t spank their children. However, I was apparently so “out of control” at this point that they didn’t know what else to do. So, as their parents had done to them, authoritarian punishment was dealt out for childhood infractions – often with a belt. (Which I was told was the better choice when compared to a switch or a paddle.)

Also somewhere within this time frame, I almost drowned at the beach. I also almost choked to death on a popcorn kernel. But then, again, who haven’t these things happened to?

Nonetheless, I was an incredibly shy child around strangers. And new kids. And very often in new places. Looking back I would definitely say I experienced a high level of anxiety when placed in new situations even as a young child.

I would scream and cry whenever my mother dropped me off at daycare. (This upon realizing having a second child meant she had to go back to work.) And I was bad. There was one day that she was forced to take me to work with her because I’d worked myself up from tears into dry heaves.

When I started school for the first time, and every year after throughout elementary school, that first week was always accompanied by a terrible stomach ache each morning.

I did not like the Easter bunny. Nor did I like Santa. These fictional characters were strangers to me. And to be forced into having my photo taken with them meant more tears – and the occasional cry/screaming that emitted by young children in terror.

While I can’t say with any certainty one way or the other if these events had a significant impact on my life, the fact that I remember them (prior to the discovery of the why) is telling. As were the eventual results, which included severe bouts of anxiety, depression, and eventually, agoraphobia.

When I was fourteen, I was the survivor of a much larger trauma. (#metoo) One that I never told my parents about. This of course led to its own unique outcomes and consequences. Destructive behavior. Cutting. Drinking. Behaviors that led to another similar incident when I was sixteen. Something I’ve since learned is way more common than many of us ever realized.

When did it happen?

Fast forward to just before the agoraphobia started. I’m married to my first husband. My son is in elementary school. I’ve been seeing a psychologist for depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

The ironic thing about me seeking help for my depression and OCD is that it actually led to my agoraphobia. I had started talking to a mental health professional in an attempt to wrangle my obsessive compulsive behaviors and bring it back under control. I was also exhausted, sad. I slept a lot.

I was exhibiting obsessive compulsive behaviors both at work and at home. At work I was perfect folding shirts and jeans like a crazy person. At home I was also perfect folding shirts and jeans like a crazy person. I was cleaning obsessively and checking and rechecking that everything was always perfectly in place.

What therapy taught me, was that the OCD was my coping mechanism for my anxiety. When I got the OCD under control and stopped those behaviors, that’s when the panic attacks began. The one thing that had helped me cope was taken away. Yet I was still left with unanswered questions on how to heal the root cause of my depression and anxiety to begin with.

Modern medicine offered SSRI’s as the answer. In the end however, holistic therapy was the only thing that addressed the core problem.

It’s all in your head.

I had that first panic attack shortly afterwards while at work. I remember it so clearly. It was the start of the holiday season. Online sales had yet to entirely change the face of retail at this point. So holidays meant hoards of people, many of whom were impatient.

I working at Gap at the time. And as I was walking across the crowded hall of the mall from Baby Gap to Gap, it hit. It’d been so long since I’d had a panic attack that I didn’t really recognize it as one at first. From there however, my condition spiraled.

I could only avoid having panic attacks at work if I was intensely focused on a task, such as resetting a wall display.

Then it got worse. And it kept on getting worse. However, because the attacks would happen so quickly in succession, and last for so long, I didn’t recognize them as panic attacks. I thought maybe I had developed adult asthma.

I went to my regular doctor. He told me that what I was experiencing was all in my head. I didn’t believe him. My mind wouldn’t let me see those attacks for what they really were. Maybe that meant giving up control to view them that way. I don’t really know. What I do know, is that I was – and still am – quite stubborn.

Testing, testing. 1. 2. 3.

I had my doctor refer me to another physician to be tested for asthma. By the time the tests for asthma came back negative, I wasn’t able to work at all. I had started having panic attacks in the house. Room by room until only my office and bedroom were panic attack free.

Eventually, the only time I didn’t have a panic attack, was if I was in bed reading or watching television.

I couldn’t have a normal conversation. I had panic attacks during telephone calls. My panic attacks were so intense, and lasted so long, that I literally had to pause after every word when talking to catch my breath. It was like I’d run a mile and then tried to have a discussion. My heart still pacing. My lungs still gasping to find air.

My now ex-husband used to come home at lunch while I was in the shower upstairs. He’s sneak into the bathroom just to scare me. When I started locking the bathroom door, he’d jimmy the lock. So I started having panic attacks in the shower. This led to me taking showers in the downstairs basement – where it felt like I could breathe.

I finally accepted my condition as being in my head. I accepted that I was having panic attacks. And, I was diagnosed with agoraphobia. At this point my panic attacks were so debilitating, I was told, had I not been so stubborn, I would have been housebound.

So I started taking an SSRI drug to manage the agoraphobia. Even with a high dose of SSRI medication, I would still have panic attacks. They were what one might consider a “normal” panic attack at that point, accompanied by debilitating tension headaches. So I took benzodiazepines to manage what the SSRI’s couldn’t. (These days I take CBD oil for anxiety, stress and the resulting pain that manifests from these symptoms. Use coupon code: ref0716498 for $10 off.)

Life is all about changes.

I decided to quit my job. (I had the luxury to be able to do so at the time.) For eight months I was a stay at home mother and wife. I mostly learned how to cook – though I’m SO much better now. I read more books than most people do in two lifetimes.

One day, while shopping at Target, I started talking to a stranger in the sales aisle. That was the day I knew I had to do something else with my life. I needed to be a part of the world.

I decided to apply to sell my handmade soaps at our local farmers market on a Monday. I interviewed with market management on a Tuesday. Wednesday, I set up my soaps on top of the concrete tables to sell. I met amazing people. I learned so much. Not just about selling on the market, but about other people and life. I grew. And ever so gradually, I conquered my fears.

Soapmaking, and in turn, selling my handmade soaps on the market, more than anything else, was what really pushed me forward. It’s how I tackled the agoraphobia and anxiety once and for all. It’s how I began to slowly become the person I am today. More than anything, however, it’s how I started healing and finally learned how to be on my own and figure out what I really wanted for my life.

The things we don’t talk about.

Once my first husband and I split up after 9 1/2 years of marriage, I moved back home. Within a few days I’d stopped having panic attacks. They literally just stopped.

Six months later, and during the recession, I finally found a part time job. That job went full time. I learned how to take care of myself. And now, well, I’m here. Growing. Writing. Figuring out the growing and the writing in tandem along the way.

There are lots of things we don’t talk about. But I’m glad, that now, I finally am.

More to explore.

If you enjoyed reading about my journey into and back out of agoraphobia, then I hope you’ll also read my other related article, Online Dating in Your 40’s Is The Equivalent of Running Head First Into a Brick Wall.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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You hear people talk about self care a lot. And with good reason. Self care isn’t just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care. Self care isn't just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. #selfcare #healthandwellness #healthylifestyle

Are you still putting yourself last?

How many times have you heard your parents say, “When I retire, I’ll have the time to do the things I love.” Or, “When I retire, I’ll spend more time outdoors on the hiking trail.” Or perhaps you’re already at that age that you’ve promised these things to yourself. You’ll travel more. You’ll make time for brunch with friends.

The problem with this way of thinking is that you are always planning for a future you. So when you finally arrive at that point in time where you had planned to make changes, those changes never happen.

What generally occurs, instead, is one of two things. You either A) find that you’ve neglected self care (which includes a healthy diet and exercise, fresh air and healthy stress management) and your health won’t allow you to do all those things you planned over the years. Or B) you’ve trained yourself to put other people above you for so long, that when you finally do have the time to focus on yourself, you aren’t able to break a lifetime of behavior in which you were always doing for others.

Do you have trouble saying no?

My mother has always been the type of person who has trouble saying no. “We need someone to be treasurer for ABWA. Can you do it? We really need someone.” “Sure.” “We need someone to organize the PTA fundraiser. No one volunteered this year. Can you help?” “Of course.” “We’d really love to have a Cub Scout troop for our church. Can you run that?” “Absolutely.” “No one signed up to host a Princess House party? Would you mind hosting one?” “I can make that happen.”

Growing up I remember my mother being involved in everything. From work to church to school she did just about everything that anyone asked of her. And as a baby boomer, I feel like she was raised to be that homemaker, parent and activist. At the same time, however, roles were changing. So she also worked full time. She didn’t ask for help. And she eventually ran herself into exhaustion and a nervous breakdown.

My mother retired around two years or so ago. Guess what? She still hasn’t found the time to keep up with her flower gardens. She’s volunteering now more than she did when she was working. And why not? How else do you fill that void that work left open if all you’ve ever done is work?

More recently my grandmother has been unable to take care of herself. So my mother is only home one or two days a week. The rest of the time she’s helping my grandmother with everything she needs as the family prepares to move her into assisted living.

All of those things my mother said she’d do once she retired? Well, she hasn’t done them yet.

You shouldn’t wait until retirement to indulge in self care because self care is not an indulgence. Self care is a must for a happy, healthy life. Self care is a must for managing stress so you don’t get overwhelmed. Self care is healthcare. (Also, learning how to say “no” is pretty empowering too.)

Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care. Self care isn't just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. #selfcare #healthandwellness #healthylifestyle

An introduction to Soulplant Apothecary.

Recently I had the opportunity to try, what I consider, self care products from a small company called Soulplant Apothecary. Based in Zagreb, Croatia, this little Etsy shop is owned by Kristijana. Kritijana not only works as a transformational life-coach, aromatherapist and herbalist, she also crafts personal care products that she believes can help people live more soulful lives.

The principles behind Soulplant Apothecary tie together plant love, skin care and soul healing. So it’s easy to use these handmade products to better connect with your inner self. A daily skin care routine not only helps to soothe your body, it can also help calm your mind. So take that extra few minutes each day to really focus on your skin care needs.

I love all of the products I tried from Soulplant Apothecary. My hope is that you will love them as much as I do. As well, be sure to utilize skin care as a daily reminder to take care of not just your physical health, but your emotional health as well.

Sacred Space Room & Body Mist from Soulplant Apothecary. This is a truly sacred blend of purifying essential oils and mindfully chosen floral waters. It helps dispense stagnant energy in your space and/or aura.

My favorite self care product from Soulplant Apothecary.

My favorite product from Soulplant Apothecary has to be Kristijana’s sacred space room + body mist. As a person who has struggled with anxiety throughout my life, I love that this essential oil mist helps to ground my energy and cleanse my space. Dubbed as a magic mist for soulful living, this mist been super helpful at helping me focus and concentrate on my writing and upcoming projects. Plus it smells amazing – something similar to sitting outdoors on a damp forest floor enveloped by woods and rich dirt.

In addition to the sacred space room + body mist, you can also shop for three other aromatherapeutic scents including happiness, divine feminine – and for him – divine masculine. Try your favorite scent to help you destress when you meditate. (Soulplant Apothecary’s sacred dust smudging blend is also lovely for this purpose.) Or cuddle up with that book you keep meaning to read. You deserve a break in your day to let the tension and stressors in your life go.

This hair love restore & heal hair serum from Soulplant Apothecary is a potent blend of more powerful plant oils, just to mention some of them: argan, macadamia and rare precious gem of nature - abyssinia oil. This composition is meant to protect hair from damage and to substitute commercial conditioners. Rich in fatty acids and vitamins, this elixir will add boost of glow and health to your hair.

My roommate’s favorite self care find.

Having survived an emotionally abusive marriage followed by breast cancer, my roommate Bambi springs for a haircut and color as a treat to herself when she has a little extra cash. She’s a fan of flat ironing her hair (when it’s not raining) to smooth out her naturally kinky, curly hair. Therefore it’s no surprise that her favorite product from Soul Apothecary is the hair love restore + heal hair serum.

Thoughtfully crafted with a blend of argan, macadamia and rare abyssinia oil, this plant based hair elixir protects hair from damage and gives hair a healthy shine. Out of the plethora of hair care products on the market today, Bambi rates this hair serum as THE absolute best hair care product she’s used for straightening her hair. For super damaged hair, consider Soul Apothecary’s strength + volume version of hair love.

FLOWER MANTRA | Exfoliating plant powder from Soulplant Apothecary. This is a gentle exfoliating powder, made of differently granulated plant powders, clays, and flowers. Include it in your daily skin care routine to help your skin glow and look fresh. It gently exfoliates skin, leaving it soft and clean.

In addition to these products, Soulplant Apothecary also carries a wonderful flower mantra exfoliating plant powder, nourishing face cream, ritual bath salts and yoni sacred feminine oil – to restore the connection with your feminine power center. (Which is a whole other kind of very special self care. *wink*) To learn more about Soulplant Apothecary or to browse all of the great products created by Kristijana, visit her Etsy shop here.

More self care rituals that are easy to adopt.

• Spend a few minutes, either at the beginning or the end of the day, to write in a journal. This will help you visualize the achievement of your goals and be more mindful.

• Take a mid-day walk at lunchtime to boost your energy levels.

• Turn off your ringer and take a break from your phone. No one should be tethered to a phone 24/7. Choose a time frame out of everyday to disconnect from all your digital devices and just sit outdoors, watch the clouds and take in the view.

• Pick a day to say no to social media each week. Instead, invite a friend or neighbor over for a cup of tea and engage in a real conversation about something other than the news.

• Reduce stress with simple activities such as spending time with a pet, painting a picture, making soap, planting a flower or even dancing – like no one is watching, of course!

What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care? I’d love to hear your tips for reducing stress, practicing mindfulness or simply how you take time out for yourself each day. Alternately, if you are currently struggling with where you are in life, I recommend reading my article titled, You Are Not a Failure (Tips to Change Your Perspective & Get Your Mojo Back.)

To receive updates from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find and follow me on PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’ and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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You’re About to Discover Your New Favorite Tea!

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Whether you’re new to drinking loose leaf teas, or you’re a self described tea connoisseur, you’re going to love the natural, organic loose leaf teas from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Find your tea soulmate with this genius tea quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs based on your tastes and lifestyle. The tea soulmate quiz asks questions based not just on your favorite flavors, but also where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, you're sure to find the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle.

With a wide selection of every kind of organic loose leaf tea imaginable, it’s hard not to find a tea that you love. However, if you’re still on the hunt for that perfect tea that fits both your tastes AND your lifestyle, then you must take Mountain Rose Herbs new tea quiz to find your tea soulmate!

I’ve been shopping with Mountain Rose Herbs for over a decade and I’ve never once been disappointed by the quality of their products. I first became a customer in what I like to call my “market days.” I would shop from their selection of organic ingredients that included unrefined butters, clays and carrier oils for my soapmaking recipes and skin care products that I sold on my local city market.

Rarely, however, did I consider purchasing from their wide selection of organic loose leaf teas. What a mistake! After taking the new tea soulmate quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs, I found my new favorite tea!

Discover your favorite organic loose leaf teas! Take the tea soulmate quiz to find the perfect organic, loose leaf tea for your lifestyle! Your perfect tea isn't just based on your favorite flavors. It's also about where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, discover the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle now.

Take the tea soulmate quiz!

Mountain Rose Herbs tea soulmate quiz asks questions based not just on your favorite flavors. It also asks where you enjoy drinking your tea most. How you like your teas? Who are you drinking that cup of tea with? And why do you reach for a cup of tea over another beverage?

So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, you’re sure to find the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle. With 32 different teas featured in their quiz, you’re not only going to discover your new favorite tea – but possibly several new favorites! Simply take the tea quiz more than once and change up your answers to find the perfect tea to fit your mood.

Find your tea soulmate with this genius tea quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs. Discover your favorite organic loose leaf teas! Take the tea soulmate quiz to find the perfect organic, loose leaf tea for your lifestyle! Your perfect tea isn't just based on your favorite flavors. It's also about where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, discover the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle now.

My tea soulmate.

My tea soulmate was turmeric chai. This spicy, warming herbal chai tea is caffeine free, making it the perfect tea for chai enthusiasts who have cut caffeine from their diets. Especially delightful as we start transitioning into cooler nights this fall, the turmeric in this organic tea, gives this brew an exotic, piquant flavor. It also highlights the other earthy spices found in this chai tea blend.

I love the pinch of cayenne that gives this tea blend a spicy bite! And while this organic chai tea is delicious when brewed with water, it’s also delightful brewed with milk or your favorite milk substitute. Think of it as a flavorful twist on golden milk.

As I’m a bonafide turmeric junkie, this tea is a perfect fit for my healthy lifestyle. (You can find all of my favorite turmeric recipes here.)

Discover your favorite organic loose leaf teas! Take the tea soulmate quiz to find the perfect organic, loose leaf tea for your lifestyle! Your perfect tea isn't just based on your favorite flavors. It's also about where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, discover the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle now.

What makes loose leaf teas special?

If you’re new to loose leaf teas, then you probably don’t realize what you’ve been missing. Compared to tea bags, which commonly contain what is referred to as “tea dust,” loose leaf teas are like the caviar of teas.

What really sets the teas from Mountain Rose Herbs apart, however, is their quality. Not only are their loose leaf teas made using organic tea leaves and herbs, you know you’re always receiving the freshest, pesticide free botanical tea blends. So you get all of the healthy benefits of drinking tea, without any of the things you DON’T want in your teas.

How to brew loose leaf teas.

So, just how do you blend that perfect cup of organic loose leaf tea? To brew Mountain Rose Herbs turmeric chai tea, heap one tablespoon into your preferred strainer. Then pour 8 ounces of boiling water over the tea. Steep for 3-5 minutes, or until desired strength. Then simply strain and enjoy.

Or discover three more ways to enjoy your turmeric chai tea here.

To learn how to brew your other favorite types of loose leaf teas, be sure to check out this guide to tea brewing.

Find your tea soulmate with this genius tea quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs based on your tastes and lifestyle. The tea soulmate quiz asks questions based not just on your favorite flavors, but also where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, you're sure to find the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle.

So, the only question left is, which tea is about to become your new favorite? Find your tea soulmate now!

To discover more about tea, including recipes and tea infused products, be sure to follow my Everything Tea board.

You can also follow me on PinterestG+FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Alternately, you can subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.