What’s New: an ending and new begining…

I love this blog and all the memories and ideas it holds. But as my children grow and age, I’ve let it fall a bit silent. I still want to document our outdoor memories, but I don’t want to compromise their privacy. So I will not be posting here any longer. The current posts will remain, but no new material will be added. If you’d like to see what’s new with me and my outdoor pursuits (and some glimpses into our family life) then I invite you to join me at my new place. Peace and many thanks for all the years you’ve read!


Dark Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

I am always on the hunt for healthy, kid-approved breakfast items we can eat on the go (or carry on the trail.) I decided to throw some ingredients together and see what happened….and it turned out pretty good! The kids devoured them. You could really customize these any way you would like. Easy peasy and delicious.

Dark Breakfast Cookies:
•1 ripe, smashed banana
•1/2 cup quick cooking oats
•1 tbsp natural peanut butter
•1 tsp honey
•handful of dark chocolate chips (or try raisins and a dash of cinnamon)
Mix all ingredients, drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Let me know if you give them a try!

It’s Workout Wednesday–Outdoor Style!

In my desire to add strength training to my fitness routine, I’ve had to get a little creative. Being a mom to three boys–one with special needs–having a traveling husband and being on a tight budget, the gym really isn’t an option. So I do what I know best, I head outside! And you can too…throw some weight into a backpack or find a tree, it really is that easy. Remember–no gym (or tan!) necessary. Here are some exercises to get you started. And please go easy on me, I’m a work in progress. Real women move and don’t have to be a bikini babe or even tan to be fit :)

So what do you think, something you would ever try?

Suter Falls, Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

11140081_10206449799349059_5724157403512666746_nsuterfamilySuter Falls 111013421_10206449792748894_5854572981090263087_n

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs

Just living the simple life. And loving every sweet moment!


Taking the plunge, part 2

trailrace{the River Gorge trail race in Chattanooga, TN this past April}

Exactly three years ago this week, I decided to buy some running shoes and train for my first 5k. A lot has happened since then, including a difficult pregnancy and some big life changes. But since that time I’ve run numerous races and made the switch from the road to the trail. I’ve completed a half marathon, a triathlon and many 10+ mile mountain trail races. I even won first place for my age group in a very small mountain trail race. I have many races planned for the upcoming year and I’m looking to try my first adventure race next year. Trail running has become a regular part of my life. I have now added in strength-training and diet changes to take my fitness from good enough to much better.

And it all began with a challenge I gave myself about taking time for me and focusing on my health. It turned into something much more–a passion for challenging myself and creating a fit, healthy lifestyle for me and my family.

And it has been a life saver. It helps me manage my stress and allows me to become an even better mommy to my little ones.

If you had asked me three years ago if I could have ever become a runner and complete races and triathlons, I would have laughed and thought you were crazy.

But here I am, on a journey that I never expected. And if I can make such huge changes in a short amount of time, I know I could helps others, too. Which is why I’ve been doing some studying lately!

photoHopefully in a few more months I’ll be starting my journey as a certified personal trainer. I’ll be focusing on using the outdoors and natural landscapes as my gym. I’m so excited to see how all of this comes together!




Taking a Plunge

{the hubster, plunging off of a waterfall in his kayak, Tellico River, TN}

Hi, remember me? I used to blog here! I’m working very hard to make blogging a priority again. I really miss sharing my outdoor adventures and documenting the current happenings in my life. Lots of good stuff going on lately. I’ll play catch up soon. But if you really want to follow along on a daily basis, please come visit me on Instagram! @hikingmama_wild.and.fit (you can click the instagram icon on the right side bar under “connect with hiking mama.”  I’m really enjoying posting over there and would love to have you join me.

Every once in awhile, you should do something that scares you

This past Saturday I participated in my first triathlon. After a 400 meter swim in the river, a 14 hill-ridden bike ride and 3.4 mile run in the humid heat, I can proudly say that I did indeed cross the finish line.


I’ve been a runner and trail runner for quite some time, and cycling is no big deal to me. But swimming long distances in open water? That one is a bit out of my comfort zone. I love the water and I’ve been a certified SCUBA diver since I was 12, but this was a different beast all together. Even during the race I wasn’t quite sure I could pull it off.

But I did it.



I may not have placed (in fact, I was bringing up the rear) but since I was only competing against myself, I think I won. Now I have my eyes set on a larger goal that I’ll talk about sometime soon.

So if you haven’t in awhile, go out and do something that scares you. You might just like it! And I promise you are capable of more than you think.


LifeStraw Review and Giveaway

**Giveaway Closed**

It’s not hard to see that our family spends a lot of time outdoors. Some of our favorite activities include hiking and camping. I’m kind of embarrassed to even tell you that we don’t usually carry a water filtration device with us, but instead lug all of our water around on our backs. I know that seems crazy, but the idea of one more thing to carry and construct when you’re hauling three kids just doesn’t seem appealing. I’ve even turned down several offers to review water purification systems because I just didn’t want to mess with them for family trips.

But then we had an opportunity to review the LifeStraw. It seemed pretty awesome so we decided to try it.



Y’all...it rocked our world. It is so simple to use and so effective. Seriously, you just take it out of the box, stick it in the water and drink. Have I mention that I love, um, I mean, need simple? Here’s some product info:


·  Anyone who can use a drinking straw can use a LifeStraw®. LifeStraw® uses hollow fiber microfiltration technology to remove up to 99.99999 percent of waterborne bacteria and 99.9 percent of waterborne protozoan cysts to provide clean, safe potable water.

·  At only 2 oz., Lifestraw is ideal for hiking, camping, running, traveling, working out, sporting events and more, all the while ensuring you’ll have 1,000 liters of clean water right in your pocket.

·  LifeStraw® has been designed to last. The filter is made of durable plastic, is chemical-free, and does not require electrical power, batteries or replacement parts; it is powered by user-generated suction

·  It removes virtually all bacteria and protozoa parasites that can contaminate water, and it reduces muddiness by filtering out particulate matter. 

·  Swiss-based company Vestergaard originally introduced LifeStraw® as an emergency response tool and it has been used by millions of victims of floods and earthquakes. LifeStraw® has also been used to fill the need for safe water in non-emergency situations in developing countries.

What’s even better is that for every LifeStraw sold, some of the funds go towards providing LifeStraws in Africa. Seriously, does it get any better? Simple, effective water purification that does some good for humanity.

“When you purchase any type of LifeStraw® filter, we use part of the funds to distribute LifeStraw® Community institutional water purifiers to schools in Africa. LifeStraw® Community is specifically designed to deliver clean, safe water to school children by removing waterborne pathogens and dirt commonly found in source water”  You can read more about the program here on their website.

And to show you how simple and awesome the LifeStraw really is, I let Big Brother test it out all by himself. Due to his special needs, he sometimes misses out on some outdoor responsibilities, so I thought this would be great for him. He LOVED it!




So now, leave me a comment and tell me why you want to try LifeStraw. I’ll enter you into the giveaway for a FREE one to try out for yourself. Winner will be randomly drawn on August 8.


The LifeStraw® product and information have been provided by Vestergaard. I was provided a LifeStraw free of charge to review, but all opinions and statements are my own.

Catching Up

I’ve been a little busy these past couple of months and unfortunately my blog has slid to the back burner. We’ve had both tragic and exciting things transpire lately, but I hope to be getting back to the blog to document everything along the way. There is so much I want to blog about, but for now, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking….

Daddy and Little Man on the Hiwassee River–


Big Brother and his grandmother braved the rapids as well-




And the little one thinks he is ready-

4th of July fun-

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Hike.Blog.Love Is Hitting the Road!

That’s right, later this summer we’re hitting the open road in search of adventure, and we’re heading out west. We’ll be hitting up Zion, Moab, The Grand Canyon and the Colorado Rockies.

road trip

There will be hiking, climbing, kayaking, off-roading and who knows what else! It’s going to be an epic family adventure. Stay tuned and follow along with us…