Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eagle River Puzzle Giveaway (closed)

  Isn't this puzzle the coolest!!! This one is my favorite! It's made in Eagle River by a cool dad who lives in a yurt with his family! Ben Schneider, owner of Eagle River Puzzles, hand makes these amazing puzzles. If you don't win one here, be sure to check them out in some local stores. These puzzles make a great Alaskan gift! They are not just for kids but for adults as well! 

Before you enter the giveaway, learn more about Ben!

Please tell us about yourself and how you got into making puzzles.
   My family and I moved to Alaska almost 3 years ago and we love it.  What better place is there to be able to get your family outside all year round in a wide variety of activities.  Probably the most unique thing about my family is that we live in a yurt.  A yurt is a large round tent who's design is based on the shelters lived in by Mongolian nomads.  You can see what I mean at our families blog:
   When we moved up here my wife's career really took off and we made the decision that it would be best for me to stay home and take care of the kids.  I like being a stay at home dad, but it has its ups and downs like any other job.  Being able to watch my kids grow, make my own schedule (when the kids let me), and get outside every day (when the kids let me) are some of the big ups.  Ones of the big downs was that when the kids were napping and I finished cleaning the house (the tent: it's only 800 sq ft), I found myself just twiddling my thumbs or napping too.  I had a clean home and was well rested, but I was lacking something.  I needed something to ward off baby brain; I needed a hobby. 
    I needed something to challenge the mind, offer an artistic outlet, and that I didn't require me to leave the house.  I tried getting into photography for awhile, making note cards, and selling photos. But, I needed to get out by myself a lot to take pictures to really make it work and I found myself spending way too much time on the computer.  My wife got tired of me complaining and moping, so she got me a woodworking book from the library about toys.  Making puzzles was one of the projects in the book.  Luckily we have a garage (900 sq ft, bigger than our house, awesome) beneath our yurt so I had space to work and not disturb the sleeping kids.  I made a few for my son and he loved them.  Then a few other parents saw them and said "Hey, you should sell these."  Now I have a less than clean home, don't get much sleep, but am never bored.

Where can one get these puzzles? 
  There are several stores and art galleries in Anchorage and Eagle River where you can buy them:
Dos Manos Art Gallery, Katie Sevigny Art Gallery, and  Sweet Adeline's Children Store.
Eagle River:
Belly Baby and Beyond and Eagle River Nature Center
You can also shop at my online etsy store  and see what is currently available.
But my favorite is to interact with customers at craft fairs or by having people pick what they want, make it, and hand it directly to them.  You can see all of our designs at and on facebook.

What do you love about Alaska?
  Winter.  I'm bubbling with anticipation when the sun starts disappearing in September.  I'm sad in May when all the snow starts disappearing and I finally have to hang up the skis for the summer.  I'm one of those annoying people who is always praying for cold stormy weather while every one else is looking for sun.  Alaska is the perfect place for me.

Here are the rules to enter:
1. Must live in Alaska
2. Be a follower of the blog
3. Visit Ben's facebook page and tell us your favorite puzzle. Please be sure to leave an email address, anonymous will not be counted.

The winner will get this cool salmon puzzle!! The winner will be chosen randomly this Sunday evening.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mo'Rockin Creation Giveaway (closed)

Owl designs seem to be everywhere and why not, they are so cute! Our giveaway is a one of a kind homemade owl by Maggie from Mo'Rockin Creations. This will make a great Easter basket present!

Please tell us about yourself and how you started your business:
I am a homeschooling mother of 5 children ages 7-15. My husband is a youth and children's pastor in Wasilla, loving kids and serving the community is what we do most. I love to create and am tickled that people like my creations. I won't lie, the cash from my creations also helps to support our love of homeschooling and the life of ministry we've chosen for our family. I really began crafting in 2003, when I began making hand braided rugs to donate to a mission fundraiser and to give as presents. The summer of 2004 is when I began making baby slings, receiving blankets, tooth fairy pillows, hooded bath towels, kool aid purses and more. I sold my creations at farmers markets and craft bazaars in Idaho until 2007, when our family moved to Wasilla. Since then, I've primarily sold my creations on, a wonderful website dedicated to selling all things handmade. This last year I said goodbye to creating baby slings and hello to making different animals out of recycled wool sweaters. Valentine's Day of 2010 , I really wanted to give my children something special, so I decided I would attempt to make them each owls. I looked all over the Internet for a pattern to use, but didn't find one I liked, so I created my own. I included hearts in their eyes and on their wings to show each of my kids that "Owl Always Love You" .  These were a hit and soon all of my kids' friends wanted one of their own. This inspire me to make them for my etsy shop. I absolutely love making my owls. It brings me so much joy to hunt out wool and create one of a kind owls, mushrooms, cats and monsters. Each owl and monster seems to have its own personality and I love seeing others enjoy my creations.  The best part for me is they were born out of my love for my own kids. I continue to make towels, blankets, burp cloths and purses made out of recycled materials, but my owls are definitely my favorite.

Where can I get these owls?
Currently you can buy my creations on my Facebook page and you can also purchase my, Owl Always Love You, owls at Sweet Adeline's Children's Store on Huffman in Anchorage.

What do you love about Alaska?
It's hard to say what I love the most about Alaska. I've dreamt of moving here since the 8th grade, when I was inspired by my Grandpa's stories of serving in the Aleutian Islands during WWII. Over the years I would dream up how I could make it up here.  In 95' I  just happened to marry a man with Alaska in his heart as well. We were overjoyed to finally move  up here in 2007 and are still in love with Alaska ,her great beauty, wonderful people and pioneer spirit. I still pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming! It brings me great joy to say my creations are Alaskan made.

Want to win one of these sweet owls? Please follow the rules:
1. Live in Alaska
2. Visit Maggie's facebook page and let me know which owl you would choose if you won.
3. Follow the blog and PLEASE leave an email address to contact you. Anonymous will not be counted.

One winner will be chosen Sunday night, good luck!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alaska Love Giveaway (closed)

I love seeing all the hand designed apparel in Alaska. One designer that I think was so creative is Marne Lastufka. She is the owner of alaska love and I love how she placed hearts in places of the stars of the big dipper, which is on our state flag. Simple yet powerful.

Marne donated a kids long sleeve shirt size 8. (She said they run a little small) It is charcoal gray with baby blue lettering on it.

Please tell us a little about you and your business:
I am a life-long Alaskan and started my business in 2009.  I started small, but it quickly grew into a larger entity of its own. 

Where can I get these products?You can get Alaska Love items at Dos Manos, located at 1317 W Northern Lights, and at the Fiddlehead Gallery on 4th Ave.  I also do craft shows, I have several coming up, "A
Woman's  Affair", April 1-3 in Fairbanks, "Spring Fling", at the Egan Center on April 16, 17, and the "Today's Woman Show", in Wasilla, April 29-May 1. I will also be at the Downtown Saturday Market this summer June- August. 
Visit her website, alaska love and "like" her facebook page!

What do you love about Alaska?I love the people that live in Alaska, and I love the fact that the days are so different, always are changing.

Want to win the tshirt? Please follow the rules and good luck!

1. You must live in Alaska
2. Leave a comment and make sure your profile links back to your email address or post it here. (Anonymous will not be counted! If your phone doesn't let you do it, please sign in from your computer)
3. You have to be a follower of the blog

One random winner will be chosen Sunday night. Remember the shirt is a long sleeve KIDS size 8 shirt.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SnuggleBoo Giveaway!! (closed)

Whenever I carry my baby in her car seat, I usually get comments on her cover. I LOVE my SnuggleBoo cover. I used to have another fleece cover, but I didn't like how it laid on my sons face. The SnuggleBoo acts as a tent and I can peek in without waking her. I am still able to carry the car seat on my arm as well. It keeps her so warm and keeps the wind off when I am taking her to and from the car. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone with a baby. Its so much easier then throwing a blanket over the car seat as well. This is a great gift for the new momma as well!

Naomi donated a neutral cover for our giveaway!! Let's hear about Naomi first and we can move onto our giveaway.

Please tell us a little about you and why you created the SnuggleBoo:
I’m blessed to be a stay-at-home-mother of 4 wonderfully crazy kiddos. Not the easiest job, and yes it IS a full time job in itself, but I’m thankful to have the option. My husband got me a sewing machine the Christmas that we found out that I was pregnant with our second child. She was born the following September, just in time for the cold weather! I was and still am, not comfortable with the car seat covers that lay directly over the baby’s face so I bought one of those JJ Cole BunndleMe things to keep her warm. But her face was still exposed to the sometimes sub-zero temps. She also kicked her feet so much that she would actually work the zippers down and eventually be completely uncovered!
So then I decided to make something myself since I couldn’t find ANYTHING that stayed away from her face while still protection her from the cold.
And so the idea of the SnuggleBoo was born.
It was never my intention to turn this into a business, but I was constantly being asked where I got my car seat cover. One thing lead to another and here we are!

Where can I purchase the SnuggleBoo?
And soon in the Nursing Boutique inside of Prov.
We also have a facebook page!

What do you love about Alaska?What I love most about Alaska would be the summers!
I love the light and the warm and all the beauty that comes with it. There is so much to do outside…
Alaska In the summer is just AMAZING! The winters I actually enjoy too….till about mid-January…then I’m ready for summer again!
Thanks Naomi!! SO here are the rules to enter for your chance to win a SunggleBoo.
1. Must live in Alaska.
2. Be a follower of the blog (Anonymous WILL NOT be counted!)
3. Leave a comment on who would get to enjoy the cover. Please make sure you leave an email address to contact you or have your profile link to your email address.

One random winner will be chosen and the giveaway will close on Sunday night. Good Luck!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Green Kid Crafts Giveaway! (closed)

 Have you heard of the new "kid" in town? Green Kid Crafts just started sending out their monthly craft kits! Imagine having a craft kit come to your mailbox just for your little one three times a month. You don't have to come up with the idea or go to the store, all that work is done for you! You get to sit down and enjoy doing the craft with your kid! I know my son LOVES getting stuff in the mail. Then on top of that something cool to do? Let's not forget it helps you out by entertaining your kids for awhile, bonus! Visit their site to learn more about the prices and what they offer.

Penny, co-founder of GKC, dropped some kits off at my house to give away and one for us to try! To the left is a picture of my son getting ready to open it, he is already excited!

It came with lots of fun stuff to add to the scrapbook, the only thing I needed to bust out was glue, scissors and pictures! Kaden wanted to do his visit to the zoo, cause he is ALL about animals, especially big cats.

It was funny cause I had to step back and allow Kaden to create. I wanted to jump in and tell him where to place things. " I can do it!" Yes, yes you can Kaden. I was excited too! In fact it made me want to break out my scrapbook! He wasn't really interested in all the fun stuff to add, he just wanted the paper and pics. The add ons were so simple but eye catching. Kaden wasn't bombarded by scrapbook add ons like at the store. Simple, sometimes I need that in my life.

It was a great time for him to work on his motor skills without even knowing it. Gluing and cutting, and he wasn't even in preschool!! See parents, sooo easy! And YOU don't even have to be crafty! Your kids do most of the work! Now if only he could pick up after himself without being told five times.

 He was so proud of his scrapbook. He asked me to write a title on it and then he showed it to grandma and daddy. We had to keep it up because little sister wanted it. He would close it up then look at it. He kept on doing this, it was so fun to watch.

Be sure to "like" Green Kid Crafts on Facebook to get ideas of crafts to do at home with supplies you probably already have! This would be a great birthday gift idea for a little one! Green Kid Crafts sends to the lower 48 as well!

So you want to win a craft kit? Two lucky winners will win a cute little kit to try. Here are the rules:

1. Live in Alaska
2. Be a follower of our blog (please leave an email if your profile does not link back to your address) Anonymous will NOT be counted!
3. Let us know who this kit will be going to!

Giveaway will close Sunday night, good luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's cookin momma?

Some nights I can't even THINK of what to make for dinner. More then not its Brinner (breakfast and dinner). But I have found a new fav to whip and the kids really enjoy it so I thought I would share, Halibut Olympia and Parmesan Asparagus. I can not take the credit for coming up with these yummy recipes. Halibut Olympia is from Best of the Best from Alaska from Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley. Parmesan Asparagus is from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten. The Alaska book is GREAT for all that moose, halibut, and salmon in your freezer!

 Halibut Olympia

                                      2 lbs Halibut fillets                             1 c mayo
                                      1 c sour cream                                  3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
(just to let you know I don't even measure this! I just throw it in. the recipe also calls for green onions, but I don't care for them)

Pat haibut fillets dry and place in baking dish. Mix all ingredients and spread on top of halibut. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-20 mins or until easily flakes. SOOOO yummy!

Parmesan Asparagus
                          2 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus                                 1/4 black pepper
                          2 Tbsp olive oil                                             1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
                          1/2 tsp salt
(this is another recipe that I no longer measure, just throw it all together)
Lay asparagus in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese. Roast for 15-20 mins at 400 degrees. My kids LOVE these. I didn't like asparagus before these and we eat them once a week!!!

Best thing is they can both cook together and dinner is ready fast! Fast and healthy is great, especially for kids who are hungry and driving you crazy! =)

Happy eating!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Denali Parent Coaching

 What a great time to talk about Denali Parent Coaching! Alice, from DPC, is offering a 6 week workshop called  "Parenting With Purpose; Calm, Consistent, Connected-the ScreamFree Way." It will be held on Wednesday evening beginning in March at O'Malley Elementary. You can contact her at  907-868-6933 or

 What is "parent coaching" you ask? Well I interviewed Alice to tell us what it involves, read on!

Please tell us a little about yourself and your qualifications.
I've lived in AK for 27 years, am married and have daughters aged 17 and 20. I grew up in Seattle, went east to Tufts University for a bachelors degree in Child Study, and have worked with and for families ever since. I have always had a passion for caring for young children-as a teen I split my weekend nights between social and babysitting--and often chose babysitting over social! For 30 years I've worked to support families as a caregiver, a parent educator, a preschool teacher; I co-ran an infant/toddler center and eventually had my own babies and became a home mom--my initial dream in life:-) As my daughters grew, I began volunteering in Providence's Center for Child Development as a mentor for other caregivers, and 4 years ago discovered the Parent Coaching Institutes graduate level year long certification program (partnered with Seattle Pacific University). Everything about it spoke to my heart and soul, and I jumped on board. What a transformational year for me--feeling so right and energized about what I was learning and doing; being connected with many other like-minded professionals; growing from within. My business, Denali Parent Coaching, has been up and running since June of 2008. Getting the resource of Parent Coaching out to the world has been a mission for all of us PCI Certified Parent Coaches. And it seems to be working! For the past three years I've grown as a marketer, presenter, workshop facilitator, and parent coach. I am grateful for the opportunity to work along side parents as they "reach new heights in their parenting."

What is parent coaching? Parent Coaching is a collaborative relationship that supports parents through the challenges of parenting.  I speak only for PCI Certified Parent Coaches--and by hiring one a parent knows they are getting a highly trained professional. Through teamwork parent and coach discover the strengths in a family, what is working, and develop and implement strategies that address their specific needs. The result of the coaching relationship is positive, lasting change, greater satisfaction as a parent, and healthy, more positive relationships within the family. Ultimately a parent will feel calmer, more connected and consistent with their children

How do I know that I need parent coaching?
 A parent can benefit from coaching when they are actively seeking help; when they feel overwhelmed, frustrated, confused; are wanting change and are having difficulty creating it. Often this is a parent who has gotten advice from multiple sources, yet nothing seems to work for long.
Usually a parent needs only to call and talk with me to discover if coaching is the right fit for them. I do offer a 30 minute complimentary call above and beyond an initial conversation 

What does your service include and what are the prices?

My services include:
    -individual/couples coaching via phone (though with some exception can be done in person)
    -group coaching with small groups of parents with similar issues
   -6 session workshop based on ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Runkel
   For individual/couples coaching I charge $80 per hour long session, which includes an extensive email follow-up and unlimited email contact between sessions. Most coaching relationships last 6-12 sessions (weekly initially, every 2-3 weeks near end).
   For my 6 session workshop I charge $150.00/person, and that includes the book and workbook.
   Presentations typically run $100-$150/hour depending on needs, situation, etc. This is an area that is still unfamiliar to me, so I'm basing the fees off of colleagues of mine.
   Group coaching can be done in a number of ways--currently a preschool is paying me $200 for 4 hour long "Parent Shares" which really are group coaching without the email follow-up. For a small group of parents with similar issues wanting multiple sessions, I would charge less per person then with the individual/couples coaching. The amount would be based on the number of participants--a group of 4 could expect to perhaps pay $20/person per session, for instance.
Another benefit to hiring a PCI Certified Parent Coach® is because coaching is typically done over the telephone, a parent can hire one from anywhere in the states. Many of us have niches, such as, but not limited to:
   -infant/toddler ages; school aged; teens; young adult
    -special needs
    -ADHD and other learning challenges
    -step families, single parents
I am considered a 'generalist' for I enjoy working with parents of any age child and a myriad of challenges. If I am the wrong fit for a client, I can easily connect them to other colleagues.

Thank you Alice for your time! Be sure to "like" her on Facebook for tips and articles. Be sure to check out her website for more information and to contact- Denali Parent Coaching.