Camp Cooking Week and Summer Snapshots Photo Essay

Next week is big around here with two big promotions on Mountain Mom and Tots. Here’s what we have planned!

1. Camp Cooking week – Just in time for your outdoor meals on Labor Day! Mountain Mom and Tots will be trying as many outdoor cooking techniques as we can and posting recipes and tips each day from September 1 through September 7, 2015.

Have you ever wanted to try dutch oven cooking, roasting over a fire, or solar cooking? We’ll be checking them out for you so you’ll have all the info you need. Plus we’re working on a giveaway for one lucky reader at the end of the week. Stay tuned.

2. Summer Snapshots Photo Essay. This year Mountain Mom and Tots is participating in an multi blogger photo essay and we need your help. Do you have a family photo that embodies the theme Seeking Adventure? What was your best summer adventure? 

Join Play Outside Guide, Kid Project, AdventureTykes, and Hiking Along in this end of summer photo celebration.

Share your photo on instagram or twitter and be sure to tag @mountainmomtots and add #seekingadventure.

Don’t have instagram or twitter accounts? No problem, just email me at mountainmomandtots@gmail.com to be included. Photos must be submitted by September 7th and will be posted September 9, 2015.

Liberty Bottleworks Gear Review

This post begins a series of weekly gear reviews. Check back most Wednesdays for reviews of cool gear for outdoor families.

What are you willing to sacrifice in the name of beauty? It’s a question every high heeled shoe wearer must answer, but when it comes to water bottles the answer is easy. Nothing.

Liberty BottleWorks is an American company with some really awesome water bottle designs. Their cute and colorful array of stainless steel bottles instantly caught my eye at Outdoor Retailer and they were kind enough to give me some samples to review.

My Hawaiian flower Liberty bottle and the kids Blue Narwhal Liberty bottle have quickly become favorites at our house. I just feel cool carrying it around because it’s beautiful and eco-conscious. The factory at Liberty BottleWorks strives for a zero waste footprint, the bottle is made of recycled aluminum and 825 plastic bottles are kept from a landfill with each aluminum bottle purchased.

The cost of each aluminum bottle is $23.00. Here’s the run down on these eco-friendly bottles.

Pros:

  • Amazing designs. Their display of bottles was like a rainbow in stainless steel.
  • BPA free plastic liner prevents any metal taste.
  • Cool flip top lid.
  • USA made. Their company is proud to employ veterans and previously unemployed workers.
  • Made from recycled aluminum.
Cons:
  • Not Dishwasher safe.
  • Regular cap (not flip top) requires two hands to open. Not a big deal unless you want to use it driving or while holding an infant.

Pike Place Market and Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA

Earlier this month Baby L and I visited Seattle and Bainbridge Island with my sisters-in-law for a fun sisters weekend. Normally kids are not invited, but Baby L is still breastfeeding so it’d have been tough to leave her. Luckily she did great being carted around everywhere.
  
We happened to schedule the trip on the hottest weekend on record. Three days hitting 90 degrees with a baby strapped to me constantly made for a sweaty time, but even with the heat, the attractions were amazing.
We enjoyed shopping at Pike Place Market, a Seattle shopping icon. Unique shops, flower vendors, and farmers stalls all come together in one place. You can find anything from hand painted Polish pottery to fresh fish at Pike Place Market. 
I picked up a print from Ugly Baby and LaRu, we saw the original Starbucks and enjoyed lunch at a local deli. Pike Place Market is a fun place to go shopping with the girls – the perfect sisters weekend stop.
After shopping and walking in the heat all day, we took a break at Olympic Sculpture Park to soak in the scenery. The Seattle Art museum converted a nine acre industrial space into a beautiful water front park for residents and visitors to enjoy. 
The collection of larger than life sculptures set against the backdrop of the Puget sound was the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Seattle sun set. While there I spied some yogis practicing near one of the sculptures and couldn’t help but see the contours of the sculpture reflected in the movements of the people.
The Olympic Sculpture Park was a beautiful way to enjoy Seattle scenery and as a bonus admission is free! Don’t be confused by the name – the Olympic Sculpture Park is named for the Olympic mountains not the Olympic Games. It was a great place to relax on a busy sisters weekend.

Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, WA

Earlier this month Baby L and I went to Seattle and Bainbridge Island for sister’s weekend. Actually it’s sisters-in-law weekend, but Mountain Dad’s sisters are as much mine as his.

The weekend happened to be the hottest on record with temperatures reaching 90 degrees every day we were there. That wouldn’t be a big deal in most places but Seattle-ites apparently don’t own air conditioners and Baby L was strapped to my body the entire time. Walking thirty minutes from the Bainbridge ferry to the Seattle Center was hot and sweaty, but what we saw once we got there made it all worth while.



The Seattle Center is home to several Seattle attractions including the The Children’s Museum, Seattle Repertory TheaterKeyArena and the iconic Space Needle. Truthfully I wasn’t excited to see that, but right next to it was a real attraction – Chihuly Garden and Glass.

After the hefty $23 entrance fee, the sisters, Baby L and I explored a whimsical world of colorful glass. The artist, Dale Chihuly, has made his career by creating unique blown glass sculptures. His work has been on display all over the world and several museums house his pieces. This permanent collection at Chihuly Garden and Glass has many beautiful sculptures made completely from colorful glass.

The full size ocean room was my favorite featuring blown glass jelly fish, sting rays and octopi. The detail was amazing.

Having seen blown glass workers in action, I know what they do is not easy. Between heating and blowing they have seconds to create the shape they need before the glass begins to cool. It’s fast, hot work, but the results are beautiful.

I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, especially in the garden room where glass reeds and flowers sprouted up in a dizzying array of color. I also enjoyed the gardens and atrium, as the glass was the perfect compliment to the plants.

After exploring the Chihuly Garden and Glass the sisters and I enjoyed cold sodas in the shade of the patio. Chihuly Garden and Glass was stunning, even if the entrance fee was steep.