Sustainability Around The House

Hey guys, in this day and age we all need to take responsibility for the way we live and the effect we have on our environment. ‘Going Green’ and living a more sustainable lifestyle can be challenging but there are easy ways you can start today πŸ™‚

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  1. Reduce your waste
    • The ole saying ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ is a motto everyone should strive to live by. Reducing waste can be done in a number of ways…
    • Buying in bulk at grocery stores- many stores now have bulk sections where you can bring in your own reusable container (preferably glass) to fill up on rice, pasta, nuts, trail mix, coffee, and a whole variety of goods. This reduces your waste of non reusable containers that items typically come in.
    • For items you can’t buy in bulk (i.e our dairy free coconut milk yogurt) repurpose the containers it comes in. You can use it as a Tupperware for leftover food or use it as a plant pot in your garden.
    • PLEASE make the switch to a reusable water bottle if you haven’t already!
    • Say NO to plastic bags at stores- bring your own reusable bags into any store you go, it may feel weird at first, but it’s a very sustainable habit people should practice.
    • Bring your own To-Go container when you go out to eat. You already have a gazillion containers at home to use, do you really need a Styrofoam box from the restaurant?
    • For anything you can’t reduce or reuse, please recycle! By recycling, those items can be reused and given new life instead of sitting for eternity at a land fill.
  2. Shop at the local farmers market
    • The logistic side of shipping produce/goods is insane- seeing how far fruits and veggies have traveled across the country, and even the world, to the shelves of the grocery store and then your table can make me sick just thinking about it. Sometimes food is in transit for weeks! During this transit period, food must be kept from spoiling with chemicals and pollution is created via the mode of transportation, which really is the worst of both worlds. To combat this, shop locally at your farmers market. Farm to table is the best way to start living a more sustainable life in your home. You’re putting healthier foods into your body and also helping your neighborhood farmer- now that’s a win-win!
  3. Be conscious of the products you buy
    • The fashion industry it’s one of the most damaging global markets there is for numerous reasons. From companies outsourcing labor and paying next to nothing to child workers, the logistics of shipping products and producing pollution along the way, the marketing factor of making people feel like they have to buy certain products in order to ‘fit in’, it’s all environmentally, socially, and emotionally damaging. Instead of supporting the fashion industry and all the negative impacts that come along with it, you can clothes swap with friends and check out the local thrift store. You can rock that sweater from the 80’s waaay better than anyone back then could.
    • In regards to beauty and health products- do your research. Use products that are animal and eco-friendly. You can even try your hand at making your own beauty products. Check out our post for more info on homemade tooth paste/powder. There are sustainable companies creating health and beauty products for whatever you’re looking for- just do your research to ensure you’re supporting/funding the right ones!
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While there are so many other ways you can live a more sustainable life, I’ve only touched on a few that I believe have a big impact on the bigger picture. Drop a comment with any tips and tricks you have to become more sustainable! Love & light, Home Free Hippies ❀

Shop today some of our favorite products below…

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Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia

View from atop the light house on island

A sleepy little island off of Cambodia’s coast, Koh Rong Sanloem felt like a peaceful vacation from our vacation.

Koh Rong Sanloem, a small island off the Cambodian coast
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To get to the island you need to take a ferry from Sihanoukville. The ferry is about 45min ride and around $20 round trip for the speed boat option. We were there in the low season so obtaining tickets wasn’t a problem but if you go in the high season I recommend securing tickets ahead of time. Don’t let the atmosphere of the town bring you down (commonly referred to as Shitsville), it really is worth it to get to Koh Rong Sanloem or it’s neighboring big brother Koh Rong. We did our research on the two islands and decided to go to Koh Rong Sanloem due to it’s more chill and low key reputation, we were very happy with our decision. If you’re looking to party, Koh Rong is more your speed although I can’t confirm as we only spent our time on Koh Rong Sanloem. After arriving by ferry on the east shore of the island we walked the white sand beaches looking for a place to stay. We ended up at Blue Green Beach Bungalows. They accommodated us perfectly for what we were looking for. We booked initially for 1 night but ended up staying a 3 since we loved the island so much. There are no cars on island, we walked everywhere but you could pay a long boat to take you to your next destination on island if you prefer. There is also no power grid, so everything is run off of generators, the lack of Wi-Fi and seclusion is exactly what we were looking for to reconnect with ourselves and the brilliance of the journey we were embarking on.

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Our first night we enjoyed some green curry on the beach with the waves lapping onto shore less than 3 meters from our table. After dinner we stopped at The Big Easy to grab a beer and play some pool. We returned to our room and enjoyed a long nights sleep finally able to enjoy island time again on our trip. We woke up and wandered out to the shore to find some breakfast.

Our view during every meal on island
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After talking to some locals we decided to walk to the other side of the island to check out Lazy Beach. We packed our things and set out for the day. It was a short walk down a paved path from the east to the west side of the island. We arrived at Lazy beach and found a place to hang our hammock. We enjoyed the day relaxing, reading, playing *ukulele*, swimming, and just hanging out.

*Ricky purchased a Kala Waterman Ukulele along our travels in Vietnam. He was missing his one at home and this was a great purchase since it is waterproof and super durable for travel!*

https://asianwanderlust.com/en/koh-rong-samloem-cambodia/
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As late afternoon approached, naturally we decided to head to the other beach on the west side rightfully called Sunset Beach. The trek to this beach would be best completed in Tevas or sneakers but we made it work in our bathing suits and flip flops. This area was even more secluded, the rocky terrain of the hike was well worth it. We found a nice piece of driftwood to relax against. Ricky played the ukulele and we watched the cotton candy skies with the sun setting on the horizon against the never ending ocean. It was one of the most beautiful and surreal sunsets I’ve ever been blessed to experience. As the light faded away we began our journey back to the other side of the island. We reached the east side just as darkness began to creep in. We grabbed a bite to eat and returned to our room. We enjoyed our cold showers which surprisingly felt so good after a long salty and sunny day. To unwind for the night, we grabbed our incense and candles and sat out at a table on the shore. We played cards and watched the full moon rise up into the sky before retiring to our room for the night.

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The next morning we had a delicious breakfast and had to get some things sorted out on Wi-Fi for our Indian visa. Once we finished we put on our swim suits and did a beautiful yoga flow on the beach. After ending our flow with a dip in the ocean we decided to explore the island some more. We changed into hiking clothes and set off for the hike to the lighthouse on island. It took close to an hour on a fairly well traversed path through the jungle. The lighthouse stands on someone’s property who charges $1 per person to climb the lighthouse- well worth it. Climbing the abandoned lighthouse was fun in itself but the views from the top were amazing.

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After relaxing at the top and soaking in the views of the ocean surrounding us on this tiny little island, we climbed down and made our way back to our beach. Our dinner that night was amok- the national dish of Cambodia. Ricky had veggie and mine was fish, locally caught off shore of the island. It was delicious and was one of my favorite meals of the trip. After dinner we played cards under the moonlight until we went to bed. That night the generators cut out and woke us up around 4am and we couldn’t fall back asleep. So it was the perfect opportunity to wrap up in blankets and sit on the shore swings to watch the sun rise above the mountains. The water was calm and the sun illuminated the sky in pastel pinks and blues. It was the perfect way to spend our last morning on island.

Sunrise skies our last morning on Koh Rong Sanloem
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We returned to bed for a few more hours of sleep before waking up and making breakfast on our porch. We had our granola we made with soy milk and fresh fruit we purchased from the small market on island. After breakfast we went to enjoy the beach again with a yoga flow. We sat in the sun and reflected on our time on island. Before we knew it, it was time to walk to the pier and board our returning ferry to Sihanoukville. The round trip ferry ticket is good for whatever day/time you want to leave Koh Rong Sanloem, just make sure you hold on to it til you’re ready to go.

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We arrived in Sihanoukville and had to hangout til our night bus to take us to Siem Reap. Our time on Koh Rong Sanloem was incredibly relaxing. It was so nice to disconnect with the outside world, in order to really reconnect with our own inside worlds. If you have any questions regarding our time on island or need help planning your trip drop a comment and we would love to help πŸ™‚ Peace & Light, Nicole

This post contains affiliate links where we earn a small amount of commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you.

Lost Caves in Laos

Our view exiting the cave

Hey guys! While we explored many amazing places during the months we spent in Asia, this place is definitely at the top of my list of cool places. Vang Vieng in Laos is a smaller country feel town nestled among lush rain forest with limestone mountains and caves. It’s along the Nam Song River which is popular among people for tubing floats (we’ll get into our experience floating down the river at another time). While there are some well known caves in the area such as Tham Poukham, Tham Nam, and Tham Xang we elected to skip these and do some cave searching on our own- and in our opinion, it was totally worth it!

Tourist loop

Country side

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To begin, Ricky really wanted to rent a buggy to rip around the country side for the later part of the afternoon. We rented from Green Morning Travel Company in town (don’t worry, there’s quite a few to choose from with buggy’s sitting in the road enticing you in). We decided a couple hours would be enough (we were wrong) and headed out of the town. Down the dirt roads and towards the country side we raced along. We wore masks due to the insane amounts of dirt and sand in the air from us and other vehicles around. There is basically a big loop where there are caves, lagoons, and other things to do that they instruct you to take the buggy to. We were taking in the sights as we drove but really I had my hands gripped to the seat belt as Ricky took the buggy through streams and around tight corners…

Ricky ripping it around
Going thru the stream (twice) and covered in dirt
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There was something calling us to take a turn off at a sign advertising for a local cave. We drove down the dirt path and came to someones property where 2 young boys were standing in the wooden hut at the gate. We had to purchase 2 tickets which came with head lamps to explore the cave, in total it was less then $5 for us. We drove in and through the large property where small signs directed us to the cave. There was a thatched roof where we parked our buggy and got off. Equipped with nothing but the cheap head lamps the boys gave us and with the sun beginning to set at our back, we started the hike to cave #1. We reached the cave mouth where white arrows on the ground made a “path” through the cave. There were no lights, no ropes, nothing besides small white arrows painted about every 10ft. It was incredible. We got about .5 mile back into the cave when we realized our head lamps were insufficient and it would be dark soon. We turned around with a vow we would return the next day.

Sunset views driving back to town
Decided to hike up a mountain at dusk…

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The next morning we hopped on our scooter and headed for the caves. We brought our own head lamps this time, a necessity for proper exploration. We opted to explore cave #2 this time. It was a longer hike, higher up the mountain side. It was even less marked than the first one, something I didn’t think was possible.

Cave #2 entrance
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The light diminished quickly and we were completely alone, except for the cave spiders and cricket like things on the ground. Their eyes twinkled in our head lamps light, adding to the growing spookiness as we ventured deeper into the cave. I had never experienced darkness like the darkness that surrounded us when we turned off our lights. It was so cool…and a bit scary.

My hand after realizing there may be a spider on that wall…
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Trying to find our way through the cave, we would keep walking along what seemed to be a safe way until the cave suddenly dropped off in front of us and we had to turn around or climb up a different way. We explored for a few hours before Ricky ripped his pants and we decided it was a good time to turn around.

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When we travel we prefer to sight see and see the world with the least amount of tourists around us. We couldn’t ask for a better way to explore the caves in Laos than this. While there were so many more adventures we partook in while in Vang Vieng (there will be other posts about these) this one is one of our most memorable.

What’s the last cave you explored? Let us know in the comments below πŸ™‚

Love & light, Nicole

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This post contains affiliate links where we earn a small amount of commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Driving around Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

What’s up fam! Dropping in for some insight into our incredible journey at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. A highly underrated 1 million acre area that is very sadly being decreased in size by our government. It’s definitely a must see sooner rather than later! We took a road trip out there in May and were blown away by the landscape and hikes we experienced. It was my first time in Utah, I had no expectations on what it was going to be like but man was my mind blown. It was so crazy to me to see a desert encompassed by lush mountains and greenery.

After setting up camp for one of the nights
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Our first hike in Grand Staircase was the Lower Calf Creek Falls. Approximately a 6 mile hike, it was moderate but worth while and very fun. This hike is easy to find, just search in your maps.

Lower Calf Creek Falls
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Next, we decided to do a hike to the Zebra Slot Canyon and Tunnel Slot Canyon. Since it was summer time it was quite hot and we were eyeing a storm rolling around the desert, but we decided if at worst we got caught in the storm it would be a nice way to cool off. To get to the trail head follow HWY 12 to Hole in the Rock Road and then down to the cattle guard. You’ll find a parking area across the road from where the well traveled trail is. Begin the trail and make your way down the Halfway Hollow. The trail will cut left across the Harris Wash and lead you to the Zebra Slot Canyon. All the recent rain had left the canyon flooded, but we decided to try our luck anyway. We took off our shoes and stepped into the murky waters where frogs were swimming about. We continued through the slot canyon looking up in awe at the massive rock walls surrounding us. The water began to rise and once it got to my waist and there was no way to keep our packs dry we decided it was best to turn around. So when planning your trip, make sure you factor in the rainy season if you want to complete the Zebra Slot Canyon walk thru.

Ricky in Zebra Slot Canyon

Nikki in Zebra Slot Canyon

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We emerged from the waters of the Zebra Slot Canyon and wanted to continue on to the Tunnel Slot Canyon. We walked back thru the Harris Wash to the main trail and then took the other fork towards the Tunnel Slot. This slot canyon, as the name infers, is more like a tunnel going thru the incredible rock faces of the desert. Since it was also flooded and a little more dark and spooky we decided to admire this slot canyon from the outside. We returned back through Harris Wash and up the Halfway Hollow following the trail to our truck. It was a decent hike of approximately 7 miles which took us a few hours.

Tunnel Slot Canyon

Tunnel Slot Canyon flooded

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It was a long day of hiking approximately 13 miles in the desert between Lower Calf Creek Falls and the slot canyons so we were ready to get camp set up and enjoy some time by the camp fire. We found a site with a beautiful view and settled in for the night. It got surprisingly chilly when the sun went down so sitting by the fire was enjoyable. The next morning we woke up and prepared for the day ahead.

Tent life
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The hike for the day was to Steven’s Arch on the Coyote Gulch Trail. This ended up being our favorite hike of the trip. After finding the parking lot, we embarked on a few mile hike across the canyon tops until we reached the canyon wall. To descend to the bottom, we had to rappel the rock face using a rope that was left and secured for this purpose. This was a daunting task but proved to be a lot of fun once you go for it.

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After reaching the bottom we were greeted with trees and fauna surrounding a flowing river through the canyons. This was the Escalante River. I took off my shoes and splashed around as we followed the river deeper into the canyon. I was constantly looking up to the blue sky and sunshine atop the massive rock walls engulfing us.

Escalante River

Following the river through the canyon

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We continued on until we reached Steven’s Arch. A massive natural arch that made us stop and stare for awhile. Thinking about how the elements of nature and time work to shape the land around us. Truly a remarkably thing to experience. After admiring it from one angel, we hiked around to the other side, and then decided to go up and hike through it. We wanted to view it from every way possible.

Steven’s Arch
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We made our way back up the river and down the trail. We rappelled back up the rock wall and started across the desert once again towards the truck. The hike was approximately 9 miles round trip and totally worth it. Next time we go back we plan on bringing our packs and camping out for a night or two and continuing further down the trail. After we reached the truck it was the afternoon and we wanted to continue exploring the area. We decided to stop at Devil’s Garden where we made lunch and easily explored these strange formations. The iconic rock formations are hoodoos and small arches. It is a relatively short and easy hike around the area to view them. The perfect way to explore and unwind after our morning trek.

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As evening came we decided to continue on our trip in Utah. We returned to camp and packed up our things and headed out. This incredible place captured our hearts and we are sure we will return again. Drop a comment if you’ve ever explored here or have any interest in checking it out. Life is a journey for all of us to share πŸ™‚ xoxo, Nikki

Check out the links below for gear to grab before heading out here…

This post contains affiliate links where we earn a small amount of commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you.

Disc Golfing Around the World

Hello Home Free Family, Chard here. Today I’d like to share my experiences of traveling around the world and disc golfing along the way. It all started a couple years ago when we were camping at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for my birthday. I knew they had a nice 18 hole disc golf course there so we picked up a couple starter packs- which included a driver, a midrange, and a putter disc- and we hit the woods. We were pretty terrible at first, taking 5 shots to make it up towards the basket, but even then I knew this was something I was going to grow to love. There was just something about being out in the woods, something I would often do anyways, and making it into a sport. It was love at first throw.

Disc golfing outside of Durango, Colorado
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After we returned from our camping trip, disc golfing became a pretty regular activity for us to get outside during the week. I began to discover all the courses my area had to offer and formed a few favorites. If you’re ever passing through Central Florida be sure to check out Bill Fredrick Park, which has 3 separate 18 hole courses, and River City Park, which has 2 separate 18 hole courses.

Nicole getting into the action at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park disc golf course
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About 6 months into my disc golfing experience Nicole and I took a road trip out west to California. Along the way we stopped in many places, many of which we found a course to play. I found this was a great way to see the local area and meet some cool people. It was also a really good way to stretch our legs after a long drive and take in some nature. It really stepped my game up as well shooting on mountains with elevation factored in, shooting across deserts and around cacti, and over rivers and lakes. This furthered my liking for the sport and the more my skill grew the more my interest did as well. It’s almost meditative, when you focus and put your whole body into a shot, watching it fly so smooth is an incredible feeling. Passing through the trees, gliding up to the basket.

Almost hit an ace, bounced off the cage, but parked for the birdie at Richmond Hill disc golf course
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I’ve been very lucky to have played courses in many different states across our own country, and well as in different countries around the world. Randomly when we were traveling in Southeast Asia, we stayed at a bungalow in Koh Samui that had a course on property. It turned out to be the number one rated 9 hole course in the world. The shots were picturesque, shooting at a beautiful blue ocean along the beach. If you are ever in Thailand island hopping definitely look up Dave at Laem Sor Beach Disc Golf. Even if you’re not a disc golfer, he’s good people and has a great little spot where you can rent out bungalows.

Laem Sor disc golf, Koh Samui, Thailand
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Currently I am up in Western North Carolina area and have been exploring courses up here. If ever in the Asheville area check out Richmond Hill Park, they have a really nicely laid out course playing with a variety of shots. If you are relatively new to the sport, I would recommend the Black Mountain course. The holes there are quite a bit shorter and easier. This course can be fun for an experienced player as well, though you’d be shooting with a putter on most holes. I recently joined the WNCDGC, Western North Carolina Disc Golf Club, which meets 5 days a week at different courses. I’ve found its a great way to meet other players and step your game up. Overall, its just a great way to get out in nature and have some fun.

Hope you days are filled with love and light!

Happy Hucking, Chard.

Check out some great discs below to get started on your disc golf journey or add to your collection…

This post contains affiliate links where we earn a small amount of commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you.

Homemade Kombucha (Creating SCOBY to Final Product)

Hey y’all. It’s hard to ignore the popularity of kombucha these days…but really why would you want to? It’s delicious and has so many health benefits for you. From probiotics, to antioxidants, to aiding against disease kombucha has become a staple in my diet regime. The only downfall is constantly dishing out money for something that is really so easy (and fun) to make yourself. Now that we are all settled down we have begun our own kombucha brewing process. If you love the ‘buch just as much as we do, join the fun and start brewing your own today!

Our mama scoby making her first batch of ‘buch

First off, you’ll need a scoby. The mighty symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast….sounds kinda gross but it’s what gives the ‘buch the almightly health benefits. While you could purchase a premade scoby here it’s much more fun and cheaper to start one yourself.

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Here’s what you’ll need…

The process…

Make sure your hands, equipment, and working area are clean and pristine before beginning. Also, ensure no metal of any kind will come in contact with your tea now and whenever you brew in the future as this will effect the taste and quality of your kombucha.

  1. Bring water to rapid boil, remove from heat, and stir the sugar in until completely dissolved. Place the tea bags in the water and allow to steep until tea is completely cooled. Once cooled, discard of the tea bags.
  2. Pour the sweet tea into your glass container. Pour 1 cup of your unflavored store bought kombucha on top. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover the jar with cheese cloth or alternatively coffee filters and secure with rubber band. Place your jar of brew in a dark, room temperature, undisturbed area for 1-4 weeks. We choose the cabinet above the stove since I can hardly reach it it’s rarely used anyway.
  4. Periodically check on your brew and the formation of the scoby. First there will be small bubbles that will then begin to group and connect into a thin film on the surface. The film will continue to thicken and develop, once it reaches approximately 1/4 inch thickness it is ready to use to make your first batch of drinkable ‘buch. The conditions of where you store your brew will determine the length of time it takes to reach the desired thickness. The tea used to create the scoby will be extremely vinegary and more than likely not pleasant to drink, you can use it to clean your counters or simply discard of it.
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Now that you’ve got a healthy scoby you’re ready to brew your first batch of kombucha. You’ll need exactly the same equipment as listed above and the same ingredients but different quantities (same proportions though) of each ingredient. Also, you can play with the type of tea you use to brew. Make sure you include some black tea since that’s what momma scoby thrives on but we also used green tea with matcha, chili, and tumeric. We increased the amount of everything so we have a larger amount of final product to enjoy.

Sooo you’re ready to begin your first real batch of ‘buch…

  1. Bring 10.5 cups of water to rapid boil. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of sugar until it is dissolved. Place 6 tea bags to steep until completely cooled. Remove the tea bags once cooled.
  2. Once completely cooled and tea bags have been removed, stir in 1.5 cups of original unflavored store bought kombucha (yay it’s your last time you’ll ever buy kombucha again!).
  3. Make sure your hands are completely clean. Once your brewed tea and kombucha is combined you’ll need to transfer it to your gallon size glass container where you grew the scoby. With clean hands, gently remove the scoby and place on a clean plate. Pour out the tea you used to grow the scoby. You don’t need to clean out the jar before pouring in your fresh brew in. Once the new brew is transfered, with clean hands gently place the scoby on the top.
  4. Cover the jar with cheese cloth or coffee filters and secure with a rubber band. Place jar in the same location you grew your scoby. Somewhere room temperature, dark, and undisturbed. It will need to ferment 7-10 days. Check the brew and scoby periodically.
  5. After 7 days, begin tasting your ‘buch daily by pouring a little into a cup to taste. When it reaches your desired levels of sweet and tart it’s ready for the next step.
  6. Now you’re ready to begin your next brew and infuse the current one before bottling. Reserve 1.5 cups of the current batch for your next brew and follow the steps above. Once you make and cool your sweet tea, combine in another gallon glass jar with the 1.5 cups of reserved ‘buch and add your scoby. Cover and set aside.
  7. Now that the scoby is removed from the current brew you can add your desired flavors and infusions. You can use lavender, honey, ginger root, peppermint, an orange slice or other mashed fruits, herbs, spices, it can really be anything you want that will add flavor and benefits to your ‘buch. Once you add the desired infusions, cover with the tightly woven material of your choice and set aside for another 1-2 days. Once the ‘buch is infused you can strain it and bottle it in airtight jars. Store these bottles at room temperature and out of direct sunlight and allow the ‘buch to carbonate for 3-10 days. Checking daily to ensure it doesn’t get over carbonated and explode, it’s possible, but just be mindful to avoid this. Once it’s nice and carbonated move to the fridge and enjoy within the month! πŸ™‚
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Please remember that the scoby is a living organism and needs to be taken care of. Between batches when you remove the scoby to transfer, take a look and remove the bottom layers if it’s getting too big. You can gift this excess to a friend so they can begin there own homemade kombucha! Feel free to share any tips or tricks you have or any questions. We’re all on this journey together πŸ™‚ Much love, xoxo Nicole

This post contains affiliate links where we earn a small amount of commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you.

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Juicin’

Hey home free fam! It’s been awhile since we’ve posted- we’ve been busy with the move but are all settled into our new home in Asheville πŸ™‚ We have taken this opportunity to really revamp our health and habits. Focusing on our health internally with the foods with put into our body as well as externally through physical exercise. So far we’ve enjoyed hiking, tubing, and rollerblading around our new area. As well as yoga and Qi Gong in the mornings on our cute porch outside. With a focus on diet and exercise we can already feel our spiritual side flourishing.

Family Hiking at Black Balsam
Blue Ridge Parkway located less than 20 minutes from our home

I wanted to share some delicious juice recipes I recently used. Juicing allows for the increased absorption of nutrients and increased consumption of fruits and veggies. The juicer I use is older and was given to me from my parents who purchased it during the days of infomercials on TV…you can use the links below to view some affordable juicers on Amazon. Purchasing through our affiliate links provides a small amount of commission to us at no additional cost for you.

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Check out the recipes below

Ginger Zinger

Ingredients: 5 stalks celery, 2 stalks kale, 1/2 cucumber, 2.5 cm ginger root, 1/2 lemon, and 2 apples. The amount of each ingredient used is dependent on how much juice you want. I prefer to juice enough for the week so the amounts I used made approximately 3 servings.

Sweet Beet

Ingredients: 3 beets, 5 carrots*, 4 celery stalks, 1/2 lemon, 1.5 cm ginger root, 2 apples. These amounts created approximately 5 servings.

Summer Surprise

Ingredients: 2 oranges, 3 apples, 4 carrots*, 3 celery stalks, 1.5 cm ginger root, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp ground turmeric. Approximately 5 servings.

*Please note our carrots were fresh from the local farm and a lot smaller than the ones you find in the grocery store.

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For each recipe, I would use a measuring cup to collect the juice, pouring into the mason jar container I was using for each batch as necessary. There is no order you need to juice the fruits and veggies in, and I didn’t find it necessary to clean the juicer between each recipe. Once each recipe was completed I put the lid on the mason jar and immediately placed into the refrigerator. Keep in mind fresh juice is perishable and begins oxidizing immediately, your juice should be consumed within a few days.

Summer Surprise and Sweet Beet for breakfast this morning πŸ™‚

Drop a comment and let us know your fav juicing recipes or if you have any questions about the ones we shared today. Much love, Nikki

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This post contains affiliate links where we earn a small amount of commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you.

Virginia to New York Road Trip

After hanging out in North Carolina for a few days we headed north for our road trip. Passing through the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia we crossed through Maryland and Pennsylvania. We stopped to stretch our legs in Pennsylvania by visiting Hershey and Lancaster, otherwise known as Amish Country. We bought some candy from the Hershey Factory and shoofly pie from Dutch Haven before heading to New York.

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Our first stop in New York was Watkins Glen. We arrived at Watkins Glen State Park around 9:30am shortly after the park opened. Since there is social distancing in place we wanted to make sure we got in before the park reached capacity. We entered through the south entrance and started on the Gorge Trail there. There was a one-way trail sign in place, I’m guessing that’s new for the social distancing. Walking along on a paved/maintained path we explored the glen, which is a narrow valley, where water flowed continuously with waterfalls all around.

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After our relatively short trail walk at the state park (part of the trail was closed for maintenance), we drove through the downtown portion of the town of Watkins Glen and made our way to the scenic byway around Seneca Lake. I never knew wine country existed in New York until then! The warm summer air was pleasant after a quite gloomy morning. We love our wine so we decided to stop at Damani Wine Cellars to do a tasting and purchase some bottles to bring with us. We continued our drive around Seneca Lake, the largest finger lake by volume, and through rural New York to our next stop at Letchworth State Park.

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Letchworth State Park is nicknamed ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ and it certainly lives up to the name. It consists of a huge gorge where the Genesee River rages through creating magnificent waterfalls. We started at the upper falls and hiked down to the middle falls, which were our favorite. After walking along the path overlooking the river and falls we made our way back to the car to drive to lower falls. We hiked around here and viewed Inspiration Point as well. We wanted to make our way to Niagara Falls before the night so we headed out but there are numerous activities you can enjoy at the park for days of fun.

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We arrived in Niagara Falls and had a quick bite to eat before entering Niagara Falls State Park. This park is the oldest state park in the US and was interesting to explore. It’s more of a city/tourist trap surrounding the falls, but the natural beauty is there and an amazing experience none the less. We parked at the rapids and walked along the Niagara River admiring the speed and force of the water rushing by. We wandered onto Goat Island and viewed the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls from the top. It gave us a good idea of what we would be exploring better the next day when the park services were open. The next morning we parked at the rapids again since it was a nice walk along the river and not too far from the Cave of the Winds and Maid of the Mist tours. The Cave of the Winds was an incredible (and wet) experience. We were able to get up close to the falls and view them from the bottom, with the opportunity to stand in the falls and soak up all the power from the water falling above. On the Maid of the Mist, we grabbed a spot on the top and were brought past the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the Horseshoe Falls (Canadian falls). While all the falls are incredible, Horseshoe Falls takes the cake.

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Following Niagara our next stop was Moravia in the rural farmlands of New York. We took the back roads all the way there exploring parts of the state I never imagined existed. We spent the 4th of July weekend with Ricky’s parents on Lake Owasco. Being in the country with friendly faces and fireworks over the lake was one of the best ways we could’ve spent the weekend. I was able to finish the book I was reading Cosmic Trigger and start my next one, The Pilgrimage. While we were there we also did a short hike to Parsons Falls as well as play disc golf at Emerson Park. We learned about the elusive Champ in Lake Champlain and decided to go hunting for him on our way to Vermont. We stopped at Port Henry and watched the sun move across the sky at Lake Champlain until a storm rumbled in.

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From New York our next leg of the journey is Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts…stay tuned for our next post with our adventures from here! Much love and light to all. Continue to spread the love and stop the hate. ❀

Peace, Nikki

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Road Trip Essentials

Tain the Tacoma in Wyoming, May 2019

Hey fam! We’re getting ready for our first North East USA road trip. We’ll be heading from Florida and making our way up to Maine. Unfortunately it looks like we’ll have to skip Canada for now since their boarders are still closed. We usually camp the majority of the time on road trips and will occasionally stay in a hotel when it’s time for a shower or after a long drive though the night with minimal sleep. Here’s what our packing list looks like for trips like these…

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  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking sandals
  • Sandals for around the campsite
  • 4 pair hiking socks
  • 5 pair underwear
  • 2 sports bras
  • 5 multipurpose shirts for hiking or hanging out (tank top, short sleeve, and long sleeve)
  • Rain jacket
  • Lightweight pullover
  • 4 pair multipurpose bottoms for hiking or hanging out (shorts and pants)
  • 1 dress/nice outfit
  • Belt
  • Sun hat
  • Beanie
  • Swim suit
  • Face mask (due to current social conditions)
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Face wash
  • Travel size shampoo/conditioner
  • Dread shampoo
  • Body wash
  • Head bands
  • Hair ties
  • Comb
  • Deodorant
  • Women hygiene products
  • Bandannas
  • First aid kit
  • Nail file/cleaner
  • Bath towels
  • Floss
  • Q-Tips
  • Medications/vitamins
  • Sunblock
  • Lotion
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Tapestry
  • Art supplies
  • Book
  • Journal/writing utensils
  • Phone chargers
  • Computer/charger
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Camera
  • Stamps (I love sending out postcards from various places on the trip)
  • Sunglasses
  • Lighter
  • Incense/sage
  • Favorite crystals
  • Yoga mat
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Tain in Utah, May 2020

Check out the product links included in the list for all your road trip needs. Drop a comment if we forgot anything you usually bring on a road trip! Where are you heading to next??

Love & light,

Nikki

This post contains affiliate links where we earn a small amount of commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you.

Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina

Mt. Mitchell

Hey fam! We absolutely love North Carolina (hehe we’re moving there next month). When we were on our cross country road trip last year we stopped in the Asheville area for a few days. We completed the Mt. Mitchell Trail (~5.6 miles). Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak at 6684ft east of the Mississippi River, so the views at the top were spectacular.

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Blue Ridge Parkway

We started on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville and made our way on “America’s Favorite Drive” up to Mt. Mitchell. We laced up our hiking boots (https://amzn.to/30Q7YTx) in the parking lot and began the journey. From the parking lot there is an easy hike to the summit view point if you’re crunched on time or unable to complete the 5.6 mile hike. But we wanted to explore the forests before reaching the top. It was late spring so the plant life was flourishing. There was exquisite colors of green all around us for as far as the eye could see.

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Along the Mt. Mitchell trail

Along the way there were a few places we decided to rest and meditate. Everything felt so alive we wanted to stop and connect with the life energy around us. The old growth forests are truly something special. After finding our zen atop a large boulder in the sun, we made our way to the summit.

View from the top

We admired the stretch of mountains for miles. It was an incredible feeling at the top. Little did we know too that it would be our last feeling of warmth for a long time on our road trip last year…but that’s a different story for a another post. Drop a comment if you’ve ever been to Mt. Mitchell or if it’s on your radar for the future!

Love & light, Nikki

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