Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Baxter Bog: Anchorage

  It has been awhile since I've written a post! I only have one kid at home right now so I am going to try and catch up on the posts I've been wanting to write for months!  Since summer 2015, my kids and I have been going on weekly adventures with my wonderful friend Sarah and her kids. She runs Alaska Baby Rentals if you are looking for some sweet gear! Several women and their kids have now joined us on our adventures and I'd like to share the with you! I hope these posts encourage you and your kids to get outside! Alaska has so much to offer!
 It was a beautiful, bluebird day when we visited Baxter Bog. This is an easy, flat, stroller friendly trail that walks around a bog. This was perfect for my 2 year old to walk the whole way.

The bog is surrounded by a neighborhood so you only have to be on the lookout for an occasional moose. In the summertime there are raspberries to pick and carnivorous sundew plants to find.

  In the wintertime, you can walk out onto the bog. In the summertime, everything is wet and you can see the whole bog from a wooden platform.

  We found a crack in the ice from the huge earthquake we had a couple of weeks ago. It was fun for the kids to follow all the cracks. There was one area where the dirt was actually pushed up from the earthquake.

 Most of these kids are homeschooled so the cracks made for great lessons in science. Then the kids picked up sticks and started playing hockey with a pinecone. P.E. time! This photo shows the wooden platform that is a great place to see the whole bog in the summer time. Several species of birds frequent the area as well.
I love watching the kids play. Sticks, snow, rocks, and sleds make some of the greatest toys!

  Always places to hide from your friends!

The kids found 2 teepees in the woods and I enjoyed watching them use their imagination creating stories.
Even the littlest one got in on the fun!

If you are looking for a quick,easy hike to get outside, Baxter Bog is the place to be!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fun Day at Kaleidoscape

  I get so excited when a new kid place opens, but then discouraged when it closes. Seems like this has happened to several places. So I was really excited when Kaleidoscape opened. Go check it out if you haven't been yet! Be sure to visit these local places to keep them in business! Rent for these businesses is no joke and they need our support.
  I've visited a couple of times now and have enjoyed each visit. Kaleidoscape recently had a flood so they had to fix all the water damage. It was a blessing in disguise because they made it even better then before!

 This last time I visited with my good friend Sarah from Alaska Baby Rentals and her kids. We got to see the new things Jennifer, owner of Kaleidoscape, had added. Jennifer is pictured above by the way. If you have a chance to talk to her, do! She has so much energy and a bazillion ideas. I love to see owners who invest in their visitors. Be sure to follow her on Facebook to see all the fun stuff going on.
  My 7 year old didn't really want to visit, but then he didn't want to leave. He was really upset because he wanted to finish his Rig A Ma Jig invention.  My 6, 4 and 13 month old had a blast as well. Luckily they were more compliant. The play studio is geared towards kids birth to 12.

  You can play at Kaleidoscape in blocks of time and its best to book online. This has its pros and cons. Pro is that it is not going to be so crowded that you freak out with kids everywhere. Con is your kids might not be ready to leave when your time is up or your kid might be ready to leave and you've only been there 10 minutes. You can just show up, but there is no guarantee that you will get to play. 

  The environment is so welcoming, colorful and fun. It's just enough to not be overwhelming. My 14 month old loved looking at the flags hanging. There is a nursing room in back so you can feed baby in private and not be distracted. I always appreciate when there is a place for mommas to feed their little ones. There are chairs for adults to sit on, but a lot of the adults were sitting on the floor playing with their kiddos. Rockstar parents!

 The exhibits are always changing. I love to see this! Something new each month to interact with. When we went, there was a mechanic set up, my girls loved it! Other kids would take turns sitting in the car and working on it. A new exhibit, that I didn't get to see yet, is a collaboration with the Alaska Native Heritage Center. There will be cultural awareness, history and Alaska fun for kiddos! Visit the website to find out the theme of the exhibits.

  Okay so I might be a dork, but I love how Jennifer turned these bins into faces. This is great for those germaphobes. Any toys that get some sort of child ickyness gets thrown in here to be cleaned. There are several on the walls around the play areas. Genius.

 There is so much more to discover here! You can put on a play on the stage, build with legos or blocks, or read. There is also a little corner for babies to play. On certain days, there are crafts that are included with the visit. Kaleidoscape also offers classes for kids or adults! Your kiddo can have a birthday party here as well!

 My only complaint is price. It's $10 per kid. Having 4 kids, it can get spendy, luckily baby is free. So we can only go once in awhile or when the big kids are in school. I'd love to see a sibling discount! Rent for businesses can be so expensive so I understand the price. Don't let the price deter you! We need to support local businesses so we have some place to take our kids!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Make My Belly Fit Giveaway

 Who's ready for another giveaway!! I meant to do this during Christmas break, but it got away from me, sorry! So let's get to it! Today's giveaway is from Make My Belly Fit. This is a great jacket extender for those who are pregnant or baby wearing.

 As you can see in the pic, my little one is staying warm in my jacket and we have plenty of room. There are 2 pieces to this extender, one is an inner fleece piece to keep him warm and the outer piece is softshell fabric that's water and wind resistant.

  The panel is really easy to zip into your jacket. You can zip both sides up on those cold and windy days or zip one/both sides down so baby can see. This worked when we were walking downtown and it was super cold and windy.


 You can see in the pic above how a pregnant lady can wear it. There are snaps to make the extender smaller or bigger for that growing tummy. No more wearing your spouse's jacket! I wish I would of had this for my other 3 kiddos! This would be a great baby shower gift or gift to those who babywear.
 I love that I can leave it on my jacket, even when I'm not wearing my little one, or quickly zip it off to return it to normal. This is a great product for us Alaskans! And don't forget those babywearing dads can wear these! Does this sound like something you'd like to win?

 The winner will win the BellyFit and the fleece warmth layer. Contest will end on Saturday. Head over to Make My Belly Fit's Facebook page and show them some love!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 12 A 1 week rental of a Chariot w/ XC Ski Attachment from Alaska Baby Rentals

 Have you noticed how much gear you have when you have kids?! When you have a baby you have the swing, pack n play, excersaucer, etc. That takes up room! Then add to it that we live in Alaska so we need great gear to get outside with the littles like a backpack, stroller, car seat, etc. How can someone so little, need so much large stuff?!

 Well, have you heard about Alaska Baby Rentals? No, they don't rent babies. But you will probably get to see some cute babies/kids when you rent/buy from them! They rent strollers, car seats, back packs, toys, and so much more. They also are an authorized dealer for Thule, Bumbleride, and Go-Go Babyz so they can sell you the newest products!

 The owner, Sarah, experiences Alaska as much as possible with her family. So she knows first hand about the products she carries. She is also a pro at flying with kiddos so she can answer all your "traveling with kids" questions. Not only does she try out the products but she has a try and buy program for customers! So if you are having a hard time figuring out what stroller you want, call Alaska Baby Rentals to take it out for a spin! They also sell their gear to buy newer models so be sure to follow them on Facebook to hear about those sales!

 Alaska Baby Rentals has donated a 1 week rental of a Chariot with XC ski attachment to the winner of this giveaway! Hopefully we get more snow so the winner can use it! I've used this attachment with my Chariot and it rocks! We used it to take the little ones to the Iditarod start in Willow. You can pull with XC skis or push without. So let's learn about this baby gear head and get onto the giveaway!

Why did you start your business?

  To help families get outdoors and explore this beautiful state! When you have kids in Alaska, without the right gear, it makes it tricky to get outside, especially in the winter! We specialize in awesome gear that is perfect for our rugged terrain and extreme seasons and we only sell and rent products that are great here year round!
What is your favorite thing about Alaska?

  So many things! The community in Alaska - it is such a small big state! The beautiful outdoors that are breathtaking - from rivers to glaciers, mountains to beaches! The awesome playgrounds. Can you tell I'm a mom? And I love the sun - the midnight sun in the summer and the cheery sun that reflects on the snow in the winter. And seeing Denali when she's out always makes me smile. It never gets old. 

 The winner will receive a 1 week rental gift certificate for a Thule Chariot with XC Ski Attachment ($130 value). The giveaway closes on December 19th. Don't forget to enter the other giveaway going on!

Day 11- LuLaRoe girl's dress

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Monday, December 15, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 11 A LuLaRoe girl's dress

 I have 2 little girls who love to dress up. My youngest would wear a dress everyday if she could. I love to watch her skip and dance in it. You can tell she feels beautiful and loves life. I want my girls to never lose this.

 Dress shopping for my littles is actually disappointing sometimes! The dresses are too revealing or gaudy, and I want my little girl to look, well, like a little girl! Enter LuLaRoe, a fashion brand that sells dresses, leggings, and skirts through pop-up boutiques. they have clothing for girls, teens, and women.

 These dresses have so much color and originality! I need to add some to my boring closet of solid colors and stripes! You can go to Jess' Facebook page to see all the great clothes! I have my eye on some of those leggings! You can also do a home party and score some great finds! Let's learn more about the lady behind the dresses!


Why did you start your business?

  I started my business for 2 reasons. I just had our 3rd baby and was nursing and so I was wearing a lot of skirts instead of dresses, but I couldn't find a big selection of affordable cute skirts here. I'm from Hawaii and we have so much color around us and in the clothes we wear and so many more stores, so it was a little frustrating. I was buying Lularoe from a friend from college that lives down in Seattle, and Lularoe wasn't here in Alaska yet so I thought why not. It has been a great adventure for me and my family but I get to spend more time with my kids and I get to meet great people and dress them in beautiful clothes.
 What do you love about Alaska?

 My favorite thing about Alaska is all the outdoor activities you can do year around. It's such a beautiful place, and I can't wait for it to snow!

The winner will receive a girl's dress of their choice, sizes are 2T-10! Will be hard to decide! The giveaway will close December 18th. Be sure to enter the other giveaway going on and come back tomorrow for a another giveaway!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 10 Choice of Baby Breakup Boots or Salmon Blanket from Created Alaska

 When you think Alaskan rain boots, most people think XtraTufs. Almost a staple in every Alaskan household. They are so cute on little toddler feet! Now let's go cuter, crocheted baby breakup boots! See photo below for cuteness overload!

 How cute are those! They were created by Kim over at Created Alaska. You've got to go see all her handmade baby items! She has adorable baby fishing bibs! As you can see in the sweet photo below, this has Alaskan baby written all over it!

 Kim, along with her husband, also makes beautiful blankets and other baby gear. Seriously, go look at her photos on her facebook page. The winner of this giveaway gets to pick either the baby breakup boots or a salmon blanket, pictured below. There are several colors to choose from for the blanket, see the bottom photo!

 I got to pick out something from Created Alaska's awesome handmade baby gear. Can I tell you that it was really hard to make a decision! It was a serious toss up between the nursing infinity scarf, blanket, or fleece car seat blanket. I went with a personalized blanket, and look what I got! See below! I asked for an Alaskan keepsake blanket for my youngest. I love it! The leaves on the back remind me of the fall and the blue and grey reminds me of the glaciers. Let's learn more about this creative lady!

Why did you start your business?

I was raised sewing with my mama and sisters. Once I met my husband, he was enthusiastic in creating these unique blankets and baby items. Together, we have made 100's of baby blankets for family, friends charities and clients. Some of our most popular things were suggestions from our fans. The Baby Breakup Boots, Little Fishing Bibs and Dead Red hats are very popular for use in professional photos.

What do you love about Alaska?

 My favorite thing about Alaska is our sense of independence, and willingness to help our neighbors in need. My husband and I are both Nurses at Central Peninsula Hospital, caring for others is what we are passionate about.

 The winner will get to choose between the Baby Breakup Boots or a Salmon blanket. The giveaway will close on December 15th. Be sure to enter the other giveaways going on and come back on Monday for more giveaways!

Day 7- Raindrop Technique Therapy
Day 8- A dozen cookies from The Frosted Moose
Day 9- $100 gift certificate for The Music Canvas

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 9 $100 Gift Certificate from The Music Canvas

 We have jam sessions at our house, we break out into songs. Luckily, the Frozen songs are dying out and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is being sung. I've sung songs to calm my babies or to distract my toddlers. Now my older kiddos enjoy listening to Pandora and singing along. Music is such an important part of our life, so we really enjoyed our jam sessions with Kamryn at The Music Canvas when my kids were younger.

 Music enriches our lives. There have been studies on brain development and the benefits of music with young children. With that in mind, I knew my kids were getting so much more out of our Music Canvas experience then just play. My little ones enjoyed singing and dancing, you can read about our experience more, here. You get a CD with the class so you can sing at home. We listened to that CD all the time, even when our sessions were over. 

 The Music Canvas offers a class just for babies or a class with mixed ages, from babies to preschoolers. Classes can be found in Anchorage and Eagle River, several days of the week and at different times. You can visit a free demonstration class to see if it's something your kiddo would enjoy. You can follow The Music Canvas on Facebook to find out where the free demonstration classes are. So who wants to learn more about this music instructor?!

 Why did you start your business?

After completing my studies as a music teacher, I found myself on the corporate ladder, distant from my passion of music and family. After much research, I chose to offer Music Together and private lessons to marry those desires together. I love it!

 What do you love about Alaska?

Aside from the natural beauty Alaska has to offer, I love the community.

 So who is ready to win a $100 gift certificate* for Music Together classes offered through The Music Canvas? Babies, toddlers and preschoolers will sing, dance, play music instruments and explore their inner musician in a relaxed and friendly music community lead by a professional early childhood music specialist. Sounds like a great way to get out of the house, right? A winner will be chosen December 14th. Don't forget to enter the other giveaways going on!

Day 6: Snuggleboo Car Seat Cover
Day 7: Raindrop Technique Therapy
Day 8: A dozen cookies from The Frosted Moose

*Must be used toward a regular 8-week session and excludes summer and holiday sessions. Sessions cannot be prorated and giveaway gift certificate cannot be combined with any other discounts. Expires 12/31/2015.

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