Life Hack : 5 Must Have Amazon Dog Products That I Can’t Live Without

5 Must Have Amazon Pet Products That I Can’t Live Without

Tinsel (my pup) and I are bit of adventurers. We love the outdoors; swimming, kayaking, hiking and traveling to new cities all over the U.S. With all of our travels in the books, there are some pet products on Amazon that I could not live without and have really saved us.


The best step-in harness! I always put Tinsel in a full body harness when we are out hiking or kayaking. I cannot tell you honestly how many times she has gotten stuck in the mud or needed help getting over a log. Having a harness with a handle on the back has been an incredible investment

A pop up bowl. I actually have two of these! I keep one in my purse for traveling and the second is always clipped to my daypack for hiking. No extra weight or equipment needed to give Tinsel a drink. When we stop for water breaks I just unclip and we can share a bottle of water. 

This pad healer. Because I’m an over protective dog Mom, I always keep this dog balm in my purse. There have been so many times when we are exploring a new city and Tinsel cracks a pad on her paw. I know it’s a bit expensive ($19 for one stick), but trust me this has saved us. This pad healer is great because it basically comes in a deodorant stick, with a nice neat cap. Pop the cap off, rub it on her feet and POOF perfectly healed and ready for our next adventure.

Treats!! This product is Tinsel’s pick. She can get exhausted, so a good nutritious pick-me-up is always good to carry. Check out my favorite treats here. These treats are high in protein, so they give her a good boost of energy!

I love this cooling vest! We live in Florida, our weather is HOT all year so we are always careful with hiking during the summer. Keeping Tinsel in this cooling vest gives us less worry of her overheating. 

What are your must haves for your dogs when travling or hiking? I would love to hear about them below in the comments or any of our social media sties! Hit us up on Instagram @TheTangledTinsel or on our Facebook Community Page

If you loved this article! Check out some of Tinsel and my adventures on our travel page 👩🏻‍💻♥️🐶

Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : The Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, Kissimmee Florida

Tinsel and I (not so much my husband) love to hike and we are always looking for new adventures to go on. This weekend we finally had perfect weather and hit up the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek > Kissimmee, Florida! This place has been on my bucket list for a while and I was so excited to finally get to check it out!

Just a 30 minute drive from the heart of Orlando, with minimum time on dirt roads this short weekend adventure was well worth the trip. Here’s the link to their website for more information!


We arrived at that trail around 10AM on Sunday morning and the parking lot was virtually empty. There were a few vans parked out in the lot and to our surprise there were A LOT of families with small children. If you are bringing your dog along that does not get along with children, be sure to pass on this trail. There a lot of bikes, children and families picnicking! The good news? There is not many dogs, so if your pup is like mine (not friendly with other pups) this trail is for you!

ALWAYS BE PREPARED: Even when on shorter trails it’s important to have the essentials. Interested in what kind of day pack I use for trips like these? “>Here’s the exact day pack I use on my day-ventures with this cutie. (Affiliate link). I always carry a first aid kit (for myself and Tinsel), a pop out bowel for her to drink from AND PLENTY of water! I’ll be posting a “day packing guide” later on! But you can see all of our hiking and camping adventures here.

Start off straight from the parking lot and hit up the first .8 mile loop (short I know). Make sure to take lots of breaks with your pup, the path is made of crushed shell rock and might tear up your pups feet. After the loop, keep left and follow the longer “brown” trail markings through the picking area. The brown trail will lead you to a multitude of other trails, all around 1-2 miles round trip. Pick and choose your trails, these are fully pathed. Great for biking too! There are plenty of picnicking spots along the paved path; next time we will bring a packed lunch!


There is a historic pioneer village in the middle of the trails (that is NOT dog friendly), but great for kids! That part of the park hours vary, so be sure to check before arriving.

We had a blast checking out all of the trails this park has to offer and you should too! Perfect for familes, safe for solo femal hikers (like myself) AND perfectly suited to bring your best fur buddy along. We hiked just under 3 miles, but we were EXHAUSTED. Next time, we plan on starting a bit earlier in the morning to avoid the heat.


Have you checked out this trail before? I would love to hear about it in the comments below! 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 Thank you all for reading! Be sure to check out Tinsel & my Instagram @TheTangledTinsel to see all of our weekend adventures!

Healthy Living : 10 Things to Do When You Are Feeling Your Worst 🤒

I’ve been feeling pretty sick (you can read all about that nonsense here). Even if you aren’t sick and you just want to have some Me Time below is my tried & true methods for making feel better even when I’m at my worst.

  1. A warm oatmeal bath. My Grandmother would always place me in an oatmeal bath when I didn’t feel well. Upset stomach? Oat Meal Bath. Broken leg? Oat Meal Bath.
  2. Right now I have a LITTERAL obsession with adult coloring books. You know the fun detailed coloring pages for adults? There’s just something relaxing about doing a mind-numbing activity like coloring.
  3. Soup. Throw some organic/low sodium veggie broth into canned chicken soup = heaven. (See all of my recipe articles here if you are curious)
  4. Make something for someone. My go-to is creating care packages for other people, you can see some inspiration from the Dollar Tree. <a href="http://Shop gifts under $20 from Dollar Tree“>They have entire thing for gift baskets and care packages 😍😍 I’m actually in the midst of sending a care package for my bestie with the theme “I Miss You A Latte.” Something about giving something to someone else, makes me feel better.
  5. If you are up for it, go for a walk. Breathe in some fresh air and take your four legged friend along with. If you are REALLY REALLY up for it, go for a hike. Hiking soothes my soul
  6. Speaking of four legged friends – that little wiggle butt always makes me feel better
  7. Naps. I think I’ve mentioned this before? Like yesterday? I’m an expert napper.

8. A slightly addictive game on your phone or tablet – I’m currently hooked on playing Animal Crossing Camp. Seriously.

YESSS 🙌🏻🙌🏻

9. Tea! Lots and lots of tea. Again, I don’t know what is so comforting about it, but my Grandmother always had a pot of tea brewing in her house. The sound of the kettle whistle, the taste of milk tea makes everything just so much better. My Grandmother is one of the most influential women I have ever met, she truly inspired and continues to inspire me. I guess that’s why oatmeal baths and tea are always my go-to healing remedy

My husband got me this tea mug for my birthday last year “My Best Friend is a Cat” – We don’t have a cat  😂

10. Making some sort of list. Sometimes it’s not about a stomach bug or a sprained ankle, sometimes I’m emotionally unwell too. I get stressed and my #1 for stress is to start writing a list – a list of to-do items, a list of worries, a list of accomplishments. Getting all of that junk in my head on paper, just helps.

Continue reading “Healthy Living : 10 Things to Do When You Are Feeling Your Worst 🤒”

Life Hack : A look inside my private writing (and hiding) space 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️

My husband, Tinsel the dog and myself live a medium sized condo – we have one bedroom and one bath. Although we love living in our smaller lifestyle (Less cleaning/maintain everything), sometimes I feel like I have no “me space.” A space for me to focus on my writing and meditation. AND to also find somewhere I can show off my cacti collection 😏😏

So I set my mind to it this weekend. I wanted to create a my own zen space. I started off by collecting some floor cushions, I was lucky enough to have been given these by a friend FOR FREE! I snagged an extra shelf from our storage closet. I picked up these ADORABLE black and white printed outdoor rugs from IKEA for $15!

Aren’t these rugs freakin’ adorable?? This is my second set of these same rugs….since my little bunny nibbled on the last set 🐰. I set up a small couch with the floor cushions, added some throw pillows AND BAM! Wondering what that black fence thing is in the background? That’s my DIY bunny fence. I can easily pull it out and pin him on the patio for a little bit of fresh air and exercise. Normally he stays out here during the day, getting some much needed exercise and fresh air. I even make him cardboard box houses to play in (OK so he doesn’t look happy – trust me he just has RBF). 🤷🏻‍♀️♥️🐰

So that’s kind of it. I now have this incredible zen-like work space. Especially that I have been sick, this is my sitting space to get some much needed fresh air. OH and space for my cacti collection (see below)….now that I have a bit more space….I think it’s time for another trip to the Florida Cactus Company – Check out my article about them here.

What’s your zen space look like? Do you have a little reading nook or hiding space away from the kids? I’d like to hear about thembelow!

Travel Tuesday : Let me tell you about the worst vacation I have ever been on

So I took a week off from writing – My husband and I were going on this incredible vacation and of course we were also spending time with friends and family for turkey day. ANYWAYS THAT SAID – sit back and let me tell you about the worst vacation I’ve ever been on and ALMOST died during. (Spoilers)

To preface this, let me tell you our actually plan:

Saturday morning leave around 7AM and drive up to Savanah, Georgia for lunch. Then continue driving to our campsite in Asheville, NC before 5PM. Set up camp, cuddle and make s’mores . There was a meteor shower that was happening this night! So we were planning on staying up late to see it.

Sunday morning wake up and see the sunrise over the mountains at our campsite. Then drive further up north to Grandfather Mountain to do a little hiking before lunch. For lunch, drive back to Asheville and check out this taco joint downtown. Head back to the campsite, enjoy a hot dinner and get a good rest.

Monday morning wake up and pack up camp. Head back to downtown Asheville and find somewhere to have breakfast. After eating, start driving to Charleston, SC for lunch and site seeing. After lunch, head home and be home before dark.

It sounded like a perfectly simple plan. Super relaxing. Not over-planned (like my usual style) So let me tell you what actually happened:

We packed up our little Kia on Thursday, Friday we pre-made our meals and packed the cooler. We were prepped! We don’t normally drive our Kia, my husband and I are blessed enough that we don’t need a second car. But our little Kia is there in case we need it. So it doesn’t have many miles on it and it’s relatively new. (I’m going somewhere with this – just hang on).

Friday night: we couldn’t sleep. This vacation was going to be AMAZING. Around 3AM on Saturday, we decided “HECK we are up – Let’s just go!!” So we did. Tinsel the dog, my husband and I pilled into the small Kia crammed with our camping gear and we headed off to Georgia.

Around three hours in, our car starts giving out. The Kia is sputtering down the highway and we make the call to turn around. Still staying positive, we decided to head home and pick up a rental car. As long as we were back on the road by 9:30AM we could at least make it to our campsite before dark.

My husband pre-paid for our rental car and set a time for us to pick it up. We got to the dealership early and two ladies got there before us! They even cut our place in line, spent 45 minutes inspecting the car (it’s honestly like they never saw a car before) and we still didn’t get a car until 10:30AM!!! (Ok calming down). We finally made it back to our house with our rental car, we moved over all of our camping gear and got back on the road.

At this point we decided to forgo seeing Savanah, Georgia because we simply did not have enough time. We knew at this point, that we would have to put up our tent in the dark. Surprisingly still optimistic.

We drove straight to Asheville; a full eight hour drive. We got to the point where “google maps ends” and we had to follow the written instructions up the mountain side to our campsite. (In the dark, while it was raining, in a unmaintained gravel road).

Saturday 7PM: Our campsite was BEAUTIFUL. A fully fenced in, private deck overlooking the mountains. Oddly, the wind was picking up? We had no cell phone service and it looked like a storm was rolling in. At this point, we had no choice but to set up camp. We didn’t know how to get back down the mountain side, we had no cell phone service and the storm was starting to pick up.

My husband quickly threw me the tent. I grabbed it and quickly tumbled down two flights of stairs to our deck. Luckily, it was so cold – I felt no pain 😂😂 (to update currently: my wrist is swollen, along with a severely bruised knee)

We set up the tent and the wind started getting worse. We decided to take all of our camping gear out of the car to help weigh down our tent for the night. My husband finally got a little phone signal and was able to look at the weather for a split second. We were in a dangerous wind advisory – 50-60 MPH winds were going to hit us directly on the mountain cliff and we were stuck. We had to open the windows on the tent in order to allow some of the wind to pass through – which meant we were drenched from the rain. It was dropping bellow 30 degrees and the wind was tearing apart our tent. We could feel the deck shifting below us due to the strain. We could hear our car slipping and sliding in the gravel above us. The tent was lifting us off of the ground. And we were trapped.

We didn’t sleep at all. Around 2AM we heard two loud SNAPS. Two of our tent poles collapsed under the pressure.

Oh did I mention? Tinsel (our pup) got so terrified she peed. She peed all over me. Fantastic I know.

Sunday 5AM: The sun was starting to peep out. We had enough light that we could finally leave. Our tent shifted so much, the tent door was now on the roof and we were pilled under our belongings. We quickly threw all of our belongings into our car and headed off to town. We found a Starbucks about 45 minutes away and quickly filled up on warm beverages; keeping the heat on full blast in the car.

My husband (being the real hero of our whole trip) stayed positive. He asked me “Ok so last night sucked. What else is on your list?” I knew the answer to that one – hiking Grandfather Mountain. So we hoped into the car and headed off. As we were driving up, snow to fall ! (For this Florida girl – it’s a HUGE deal). Tinsel got to play in snow for the very first time and had a BLAST.

We had an incredible time playing in the snow – but now we were even more excited about hiking in it. So we kept driving. We made it to the state park and started driving up the mountain. The car slipped in the ice and slide right into a ditch. We tried to get it out, but the car was saturated in ice and was unable to move. We had to call our AAA service to help us out. The good news? Our nice warm car had no cell phone signal. We had to leave Tinsel in the car and walk a mile down the mountain side to get cell phone signal. The even better news? The towing company wants us to stay by the cell phone service in case he needs to call us. The even better better news? It was going to be two hours before he could help us. See that cute little black dot walking down the road? That’s me

For those that are uncomfortable about things: just skip this paragraph all together. Remember that venti Starbucks beverage? Well yeah I finished it and now we were stuck on the side of the road waiting. I had to PEE. I had to pee more than I have never needed to pee in my entire life. I HAD TO GO. So I took that venti Starbucks cup and I FILLED it.

We waited. We waited some more. We played in the snow. We waited and waited. AND FINALLY the tow truck guy showed up! He pulled us right out and we were on our way in less than 30 minutes!

Exhausted and fed up. We decided the best bet would just to head home. We were exhausted, our tent was destroyed and we had little supplies that were not ruined. The three of use pilled back into the car and headed towards downtown Asheville for lunch. We wanted to get a good meal before another eight hour drive.

We stopped at the White Duck Taco and got well…..tacos 😉. We ate while driving. About three hours into the drive, my husband looks at me and says “I don’t feel so well.” Yeah you guessed it – poor guy got food poisoning it time. We are still trying to stay optimistic- so we get a hotel room in Charleston, South Carolina. We decided to make the most of this terrible trip and stay over night in Charleston. This way, we can still go sight seeing in Savanah and Charleston AND make it home before it gets dark (driving exhausted in the dark down the highway is not one of my favorite things).

Monday morning: Charleston is beautiful. Stunning. So many perfectly colorful buildings. Incredible architecture. I love this small town filled with southern charm. In Charleston, we hit up Rainbow Row (the beautiful colorful buildings in the top picture) AND we got to see the famous Pineapple Fountain in their Central Park. We stopped off in Charleston for breakfast and to refill our caffeine fueled hearts and we were off to Savanah, Georgia for lunch.

Fueled up, warm and fed: we finally made it to Savanah. We stopped to sightsee their Forsyth Park for a bit and take in the old oak trees. The weather was finally starting to warm up as we wandered back to our car.

Overall this was an insane trip. My car died, we almost died on a mountain camping,our car needed to be towed out of a snowy ditch AND we got food poisoning. But you know what? We didn’t argue once and we stayed positive the entire trip. I’m a little worn out still (and a bit bruised up), but next time we will be better prepared! We are currently in the midst of planning our next road trip, Florida to the Alamo!

Life Hack : 3 Basic things you should know about caring for your dog

It’s said in older tradition that your dog is your soul mate in life, your partner. When your dog passes, it’s soul is passed on to another dog and your souls will reunite. I always found this comforting. I know that Tinsel and I only have a certain time together in this life time, so I spend every day making sure I am giving her the best life possible.

Just a little background.

Tinsel and I met six years ago, when I was volunteering at an animal shelter. Our souls met and it was one of those “there you are” moments in life. We have been attached by the hip ever since.

If you are a new rescue parent or you decided to pay for a puppy (don’t honestly get me started on that) there are probably a few basic things you should know about proper care for your new family member.

FIRST: Tinsel is a pretty big girl, weighing in at about 70 pounds. She takes a lot of physical stimulation to keep her happy. I sacrifice up thirty minutes of my morning, waking up around 5:15 AM to take her on a walk. Tinsel and I walk about 2.5-3 miles each morning. This is all part of my husband and my morning routine to keep our house running smooth you can read about that here.

This does two very important things:

  • It wears down her nails, so we never have to trim them. Less work for me, less stress for her.
  • It also makes it so we do not have to kennel her. Which I find the practice of kenneling your dog HORRIBLE. That said, YES you should have a “safe space” for your dog like a kennel or for Tinsel a nice quite dog bed in our walk in closet. This her space and she is free to come and go, I never enter her space nor do I force her to go in it; with us it’s all about mutual respect. My dog is well rested, so she just relaxes at home until we get back from work. Other than her teething when she was a pup, Tinsel has never had ONE accident or chewed up anything in my home.

SECOND: I feed her well but I am restrictive. Tinsel eats all natural, organic kibble that we pick up in bulk from BJ’s Wholesale. Again, with our relationship it’s all about respect. She waits patiently for me to pour her food and then “release her” to eat it.

Practicing this does one very important thing:

  • She learns to wait to be told to eat. No matter if I drop something on the floor or give her a treat, she waits and respects my space until I’m ready to give it to her.

THIRD: Mental stimulation. Sometimes…..she gets on my nerves. She wants to cuddle constantly when I’m trying to work and well….I love her but…IT GETS OLD. So I’ve come up with games she can play on her own. This way she’s happy/busy and I don’t feel so guilty about not paying her enough attention. You can see all of my DIY Puppy Games here.

I know my time is limited with Tinsel, so I try and make sure each day is the best for her. I make sure that most of my travels she can come with and we find hobbies we like to do together like hiking! Read our latest hiking trip here, seriously we have been OBSESSED with this hiking trail.

Are there any special traditions you do with your pup? Honestly – I just want to see pictures of your little ones below! Oh and be sure to hover of the image and Pin It! for later!

Take Your Dogto Work Day.jpg

Life Hack : Four Ways to Keep Your Dog BUSY!

We have a 70+ pound Pit-bull mix named Tinsel. Pit-bull type dogs are incredibly smart and keeping them entertained during the day can be quite the challenge. Here are a few tips and tricks on how I keep Tinsel busy either while I am at work or if I am at home working on here 🙂

The “Easter Egg Hunt”

  • 24 or more cheap plastic Easter eggs (pick these up from the Dollar Tree)
  • Her normal dog food crunchies, treats or carrots

This one is easy and will keep her occupied for about two hours. I pin Tinsel in the kitchen or on the patio for a few minutes while I am prepping the game (because she likes to peek). I fill each egg with a treat or her regular meal crunchies; I put one or two pieces per egg. Then I hide them throughout the house! Tinsel is extremely smart; so I actually have to REALLY hide these. I hide them under the bed covers, in shoes, underneath her bed or under the sofas in the living room. I then release her and watch her find them!

If this is the first time you are playing with your pup; make sure you are watching them! Tinsel is an expert at popping open eggs, taking a treat and leaving the egg. Some dogs might choke on the egg!

“The Muffin Tin”

  • A muffin tin (duh)
  • Treats, crunchies or carrots
  • Tennis balls

This one is a little more hands-on, but still a fun bonding game to play with your pup. Fill the muffin tin with treats and place the tennis balls on top the holes. Your pup now has to figure out how to get the tennis balls out in order to get their treats. If your dog is like mine, within minutes she will figure out to just pick up the muffin tin and dump it….. (Make sure to hold it down)



  • Kongs (the plastic hollow toys you can pick up from any pet store)
  • Organic peanut butter or spray cheese (be careful with chemicals in your peanut butter)
  • Crunchies, treats or frozen veggies

We have two Kongs that Tinsel plays with while we are at work. Before leaving work for the day, we fill each Kong with a special treat (sometimes sneaking her medicine in with it). We place a Kong in our bedroom and another in the living room. This will keep her entertained for a few hours while you are away! If you are looking for an outside summer treat; fill the Kong with organic low sodium chicken broth and veggies then pop it into the freezer. A frozen veggie Kong makes the perfect summer treat!

“Hide and Seek”

  • You
  • Your Pup
  • Treats or veggies (if your dog is weirdo like ours and will do ANYTHING you ask for a carrot)

Easy game to play with your pup that also helps train the “sit and stay.” Put your dog in a sit/stay position in another room. Then ask her to hold it while your walk into another room to hide with carrots. If your dog is like mine, she will get bored instantly, unless you actually hide in the house. Try behind sofas, under the bed or in the closet (really get creative!). Sometimes I like to jump out and spook her too and she loves to chase me around the house!

Any game you play with your dog is a bonding experience! You can also pick up several pre-made dog board games at your local pet store. Here are some of my favorites!

Let me know what games you play with your pups below! I would love to hear all about you and your fur kids!