Birthday Month Giveaway!

January is great for many reasons.

  • New Years Resolutions
  • Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month
  • My Birthday
  • Big E’s Birthday
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (just kidding)
The best thing about January is Birthday Month! Both Big E and I have birthdays in the first (and best) month of the year and a few years ago I decided that one day of celebration is just not enough. 
How could I have lunch with my girlfriends, go snowboarding all day, have a romantic date with Mountain Dad and a birthday party with extended family all in one day? There’s just too much to celebrate. So January has become the month to give myself permission to buy books, get a massage, and splurge on a homemade croquembouche just because it’s my birthday. It only comes once a year so I’ve got to stretch it out to enjoy it.

This year I convinced some friends to try a new sport with me. Curling! The Utah Olympic Oval has a Learn to Curl program every Monday and Friday night all winter long. This Olympic sport well loved by Canadians is a cross between bowling and housecleaning ON ICE. 
I wish I could say I’m now an expert curler with a killer delivery and mad sweeping skills. I’m not, but I had a lot of fun and encourage anyone with the opportunity to try it.
The final celebration of this celebratory month is with you dear blog readers. It starts today, the last day of January and will run until February 7, 2016. You have a chance to win two great prizes! Make sure to hit the left and right arrow to enter for each prize.

Signed copy of Fresh Snow by Natasha Wing Illustrated by Shaundra Schultz

A while ago I got an email from author Natasha Wing asking me to review this cute picture book about a snowboarding rabbit. In the email she mentioned some other books she had written including her popular “The Night Before” series. What would you know, I have her book on my kids’ shelf! It’s not everyday I get emailed by a published author I have read so I was pretty stoked.

The story is a clever introduction to snowboarding terminology. As a wanna-be-pro snowboarder myself I’m always glad to support the sport in the next generation.

Velobling Recycled Bicycle Chain Necklace
Last year I discovered Velo Bling Designs, a company that uses recycled bicycle parts to create unique and beautiful jewelry and gifts. I have blogged about them before and even included one of their pieces in an Instagram giveaway last Thanksgiving. They are my favorite.

So please enter below and enjoy a special birthday gift from me. And have a happy birthday, whenever yours is!

Best of Winter Outdoor Retailer 2016

Every winter over 20,000 people gather in Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. The trade show attracts companies from all over the world with some of the newest and coolest gear on the market.

This year I got to try out some of that cool gear at Demo Day at Solitude Mountain Resort. Snow shoes, skis, even and electric bike were there for attendees to try. It was like recess for adults, complete with a beer garden.

There was so much to see in the show. Here are some of my favorite picks.

It was great fun slipping and sliding on the fat tires of this Polaris E Bike at Demo Day. The pedal assist feature makes the bike do all the work when the gears shift. Instead of grueling uphills your legs pedal at the same level as a flat open trail and the bike picks up the slack. It’s like riding a bike with a boost. Also, I discovered I’m not a natural snow biker.

This stainless steel insulated beverage bottle has a unique magnetic tether. Instead of the lid flipping back into your face or flopping off to who knows where it magnetizes to the side of the bottle so you never lose it. Plus the lid doubles as an emergency compass – it floats!

Clif Bar Organic Energy Food
Clif Bar makes more than just granola bars. They now offer Organic Energy Food pouches in savory flavors like Pizza Margherita and Banana Beet Ginger. I know it’s not baby food, but Baby L enjoyed it even more than I did.

Socks may not be exciting for some, but Fox River Socks were exciting for me. The original home of the Rockford Red Heel, this company makes so much more than the Sock Monkey puppet we all know. The variety of kid, men and women socks was truly surprising.

This little waterproof camera from Intova doesn’t come out until Spring. The Duo action cam is an entry level, lightweight camera designed with easy controls. It would be perfect for kids to use too.

I was impressed by the awesome AquaHeat line from Innobaby. Just add water to a heat packet and you can easily warm bottles, food or water on the go. It was like magic. Their food and storage containers are really cool too.

4FRNT skis is a Salt Lake based company that’s run by skiers. High five for local love

Although I haven’t tried Craft’s baselayers myself I was impressed with Craft’s Demo Day promotion to trade my base layer for one of theirs. The base layers they collected went to charity.

These are the lightest snowshoes I have ever worn. The pair together only weighs half of a typical pair of snowshoes. Plus they are based in Wisconsin where I grew up.
Platypus new fiber filter mixes soft sided water storage with a portable water filter. Scoop from the river you’re hiking by and you can conveniently drink or pour into another’s bottle. 

Fimbulvetr snowshoes are a complete redesign of the traditional snowshoe. This Norwegien company created a unique asymetrical design from a polymer material that has only one contact point with the foot. The shorter, wider shoe distributes the weight outward instead of backward. Plus it’s fun to say Fimbulvetr.
These were just a few of the cool things at this years Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Enjoy!

Win a Beach Vacation from Outdoor Families Online

One year ago I posted about the launch of a new online magazine that I love.  The magazine is written by outdoor lovers for outdoor lovers, specifically those with little tots in tow.

Outdoor Families Online has become a big part of my online life. I wrote an article for them in December about living at Sundance Mountain Resort. Every photo I post on instagram has the #outdoorfamilies tag. I’ve met some of the brains behind the magazine both online and in person and think they’re amazing.

Mostly I love being connected to a larger group of outdoor parents. I like the ideas of places to go and the tips for how to make outdoor adventures successful with kids. I would also like to win a beach vacation.

For their one year anniversary Outdoor Families Online teamed up with Thomson Family Adventures to offer a 7 day/6 night Sand and Surf vacation! The package includes accomodations in Baja, Mexico, surfing lessons, horseback riding, swimming with sea lions, yoga, and more. Talk about a trip of a lifetime!

If you haven’t entered yet, do it now! Let’s spread the Outdoor Families Online love and grow the community of outdoor family adventurers!

Gorgoza Park – Feel Like a Kid Again

Last Saturday was my first experience tubing. Not that it’s the first time I’ve ever been in a snowtube, it’s just the first time it’s been so much fun. The Mountain Fam and I set out for Gorgoza Park to enjoy the longest tubing runs I’ve ever seen. This is one place I’ve meant to visit every winter for years but never got around to it until I was invited as part of a blogger event.

I was excited to try out the magic carpet conveyor system to get up the hill with Little G. Since she is under 42 inches she wasn’t allowed on the higher hill but we still had lots of fun on the “smaller” hill, laughing as we sped down the groomed runs.

Big E could’ve spent all day on the upper runs at Gorgoza Park. He loved hooking the tube to the pulley and riding up as well as gliding the extra length down.

Baby L even got to tube at the specially designed Fort Frosty area. The carousel allows children under 3 to have a fun time tubing with no extra effort. Tubes are connected to a rotating bar and they can ride around for as long as they like. For just a small walk she got to go down the baby hill with her brother too. Not bad for a baby who can’t even walk.

I don’t want you to think the tots had all the fun. Mountain Dad and I loved tubing at Gorgoza Park. I whooped and smiled like I was ten years old again.

The one thing we didn’t try was the mini snowmobiles. They’re only for kids ages 6-12 and Big E had too much fun tubing to try them out.

This winter excursion is not cheap for a family of five. A two hour ticket is $28.00 for anyone over 42 inches and $15.00 for the shorter kids. Kids three and under are free with a paying adult but our two hour excursion would’ve cost $99.00 plus tax. As a once-a-year excursion that would be fine, it’s cheaper than skiing after all, but I would really love to see Gorgoza Park offer a season pass or a ten ride transferable ticket option.
Overall we had tons of fun and will definitely go again, even with the steep prices. The fun on the hill is worth it.