Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Westchester Lagoon Park

  We visited Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park which is in Westchester Lagoon park area. This is always a great place to walk, bike, and play. Little bit of personal info, my husband proposed to me here, and then we went ice skating. So yes, I love Westchester Lagoon.

  The Anchorage Park Foundation opened up this cool, new park last year. There are great signs around the area that inform you about the nature that you might see. I really appreciate because they provide great teaching moments for myself and the kids.

  My son, Kaden, is big time into Spider Man so he was digging the cool spider web area. My little girls couldn't really climb it but they loved crawling under the ropes into the middle. I like when parks have the mulch instead of sand, seems much easier to clean up.

 Have you ever been to a new playground? Some of the new aged equipment I have NO clue how to use! Luckily, there was a family using this twist thing. So Kaden jumped in and I spun! I can't do turns and twists, I puke. I'm the one who has to cover my eyes when the roller coaster comes on in the movie theatre and rolls through the popcorn and such. SO I was very impressed that my son wanted me to keep spinning him! He must of gotten that from his father!

  Brooke would spend all day in a swing or on a trampoline if I let her. So when we come to this park, this is where she spends most of her time. It's pretty cool because she can ride with several of her friends. My favorite swing is...

 THIS one!! Doesn't look like much, but get on it first! You are swinging left and right, and going up and down. I couldn't stop laughing on it when I rode with a friend. Kind of a pain to get on and off but well worth it!

  I didn't get a photo of it, but there is a little sand and water table and some other equipment to climb on. When we were done with the playground, we took a little walk on the Tony Knowles coastal trail. We watched ducks in the lagoon and looked for salmon. The kids found this little area and went to town!

  They would disappear and then pop up. Then they started throwing dandelion heads at us. So of course, my friend and I had to throw them back! It was all out war! My girls sat happily in the stroller and blew the dandelions. What a difference between boys and girls.

 Watching the Alaska train ride by was a great end to our outing. The kids got them to blow the whistle and the kids were sitting on top of the world. We will be back to visit this park for sure!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Guest Post- Brandy from Alaska Fit Mommies

Today, Brandy from Alaska Fit Mommies, is doing a guest post! She has been able to take her love for her kids and fitness and turn it into a business. Be sure to visit her on her blog at Alaska Fit Mommies and like her facebook page! Take it away Brandy!

"Fitness is becoming more popular and exciting as we continue to reap the long life benefits of being fit and healthy.  Getting in your workout, no longer means sweaty gyms or the same old boring routines.  Have you checked out all the different fitness styles lately?  Just to mention a few:  cross fit, tabata, zumba, yoga,  running clubs, at home videos, gym memberships, beach body, body rocking, kettle bells and my favorite ~ stroller fitness.  All of these programs are amazing in their own way, loved by many, get results, and some targeting specific audiences. 

As the owner and founder of Alaska Fit Mommies, I can say with confidence that I have found my style of fitness.  My love for fitness didn’t start until after my first daughter was born and I was hooked during my first stroller fitness class.  I was unaware of all the awesome benefits of working out with a group of moms who have their kids’ right beside them.  It didn’t take me long to fall in love.  As a mother, it’s important to be a positive role model, make healthy eating choices, socialize with other moms, and incorporate strength, cardio, core and flexibility into your workouts while keeping it fun.

Stroller fitness targets all the main muscle groups with a variance in exercises moves.  Many exercises are compound movements and who doesn’t want to get the most of your workout?  All exercises can be modified to fit every fitness level and our kids are having fun while learning some very basic moves that are beneficial to them.  For example, the other day I was doing dishes and my 3.5 year old daughter, Hannah, began doing single leg squats, step ups, pushups, dips and jump squats on our stairs.  This certainly was not the first time she began doing exercises out of nowhere, but it just confirms to me that I am making the right choice in my fitness style and showing them that fitness can be fun.  My 15 month old is already doing frog jumps, yes; you can call me a very proud mommy!

Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle I choose to live and it takes hard work and dedication.  I do enjoy getting my workout in other ways but stroller fitness is my style and it’s well rounded so I am able to foster the benefits it gives me mentally, physically and emotionally.   I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try a new style of fitness and make sure you are benefiting in all areas that are important to you.  Choosing to be a fit and healthy person can be fun, I promise!  I think Chalene Johnson states it well, “Just like finding your love soul mate is rewarding, discovering your workout soul mate changes your perspective on taking care of yourself.”

Thanks Brandy! Be sure to come back and visit to read more guest posts!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Girdwood Fun

 One of the things that I miss about the lower 48 is packing up and driving in the car to the next state in a matter of hours. That doesn't happen here. But what DOES happen here is packing up and driving through beautiful scenery to the next town. You could always jump on a plane or ferry, but I'm trying to save some cash.

 This past weekend, we jumped in the car and drove to Girdwood to see some friends. The drive there is amazing no matter what season. The summer can be crazy sometimes. RV's not pulling over when more then 5 cars are behind them, tourists pulling over quickly to take photos, and everyone rubber necking to see what people are pulled over for. I'm guilty of that. I guess I haven't seen enough Dahl sheep on those rocks either.

 We had brunch at The Bake Shop.  The outside was beautiful with all the colorful flowers. I had the Summer of '76 breakfast and those sourdough pancakes were yummy!! I was really eyeing those HUGE cinnamon rolls, but then I would have to share! Ha, I don't like sharing my sweets. I always enjoy eating at local restaurants and seeing the regulars. You can tell the Alaskan regulars from the tourists. While we were eating, our friends told us how they "maced a bear" that morning. My friends mom had to put the garbage in the car to be taken to the dump and left the window slightly opened. A black bear wandered on up and broke in. They banged on the car and when the bear stuck his head out, they sprayed him with bear spray. Didn't seem to really bother him, but he did climb out to the top of the car and began to woof at them. When they were done coughing from the dispersed bear spray, the bear finally left. Oh, Alaska life.

 The kids did so well when they were eating but then started to get ants in their pants when the adults were trying to talk. Whats up with that? So we walked around the trails at the Alyeska Resort. A little bit of rain wasn't going to stop us that day. Didn't stop the bike riders either from tearing up the mountain. Did you know you could mountain bike down the mountain? Yeah I thought it cool but rather intimidating with the bikers and their motor cross helmets on. I thought, "Hey that might be fun!" Then I looked straight up the mountain and envisioned me just letting the bike flip down the mountain and me walking down, which would take all day. If you get your thrill riding fast down steep moutanins, its sounds like a great deal! $20 for the whole day!

 Looks like there are some great summer trails on the mountain. We didn't get to far though. It was a lot of work for the little ones. When we started heading down, Brooke decided to try and run down a trail. For those of you who do not know my daughter, she trips on air on level surfaces. So I had to run after her, bout had a heart attack! Im not graceful either, so it was almost two balls of raincoats and Bogs screaming down the mountain.

 We stopped at the Littles Bears Playground on the way out. I love these type of wooden parks. Brings back memories when I was in San Antonio. TX as a kid. There was this AWESOME wooden playground by the River Walk. You could hide and imagine so much! So it was cool to see my kids running around in the Girdwood playground. I tried to follow them, some of those spots are tight and scary! I imagined myself getting stuck and having to have the fire deptarment cut me out.

 There was only one other family so we kind of had it all to ourself. I really like that it has a tot park and a big kid park. There were also dump trucks spread all throughout the park. Some swings called my girls to come play. My only complaint is that there are several exits that the kids could get out. I like that the one in Kenai has one entrance/exit, that way the kids are contained. It has Alaskan them art throughout.

 A skate park is right next door for those kiddos who enjoy riding bikes, skates, and skateboards. Little Bears Playhouse is also right next to the playground. The playhouse is a cute learning center that is open year round. This is the place you would want to take your kiddos during the winter when you want to get some skiing done.

 There are some other great places to take the little ones that we didn't get to visit on this trip. The tram to the top is always a fun trip with family and friends. A hike on Winner Creek trail is always adventure. The hand crank tram across the creek is fun to do. You can also hike around in the Crow Creek Gold Mine.

 Our ride home was a quiet one. All the kiddos, including husband, passed out, leaving me to enjoy the beauty of Turnagain Arm on the drive home. I tried to turn off the kids songs and listen to some "me" music, but then Brooke woke up asking for the music back on. Which set off everyone else. Sigh. It was peaceful while it lasted.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Color Me Mine

 Looking for something artsy fartsy to do with your little ones? Take them to Color Me Mine! My step mom was here in April so we took the kids to paint a plate for my dad for Father's Day. This would be a great place to take the little ones to do Christmas presents.

I'll admit, I was a little nervous taking 4 small ones into a store with breakable stuff. I envisioned paying for lots of broken pottery, lots of crying and screaming (from me). BUT they actually did really well! I encourage you to have in mind what you want to do so you can just go for it when you get there. The staff was very friendly and didn't freak out when we walked in with 4 kids all under the age of 5. While we were getting paint, the kids got to color on the butcher paper that covered the tables.

 There are a lot of figurines to choose from as well as dinnerware. I think we will go back to paint coffee mugs for Christmas gifts. Several of the pottery pieces have been painted so you can get ideas. It was very clean and colorful. My niece is painting with my brother in the above photo. We let the kids pick out two colors to paint with. My son chose blue and red, Spiderman colors.

 I was also expecting kids to eat paint and get it everywhere. They surprised me yet again! They were so well behaved and no eating of the paint happened!

After their masterpieces where painted, I painted one of their hands and plopped it on the plate and added their names. The plates turned out adorable! Another idea is to go to Color Me Mine with some friends and paint a birthday plate. I painted one and we use it for everyones birthday breakfast. Special tradition that was started when I was a in college.

 I'm so sorry this photo isn't turned. This was the only photo that was giving me trouble but I had to show you how they turned out! So instead of throwing my computer through the window, I thought it best that I just say sorry. Didn't they turn out cute! This was before they go in the kiln to get fired, then you have to go back to pick the plates up. Sorry I don't have a picture of how they turned out. Color Me Mine shipped them straight to my dad in Ohio so I didn't have to lug in 3 kids to pick them up.

 Be sure to check out Color Me Mine's website. They host parties, hold monthly events, and have specials going on all the time! Happy painting!