Keeping Kids Warm: Ella’s Wool Tubes (Wool Pants) Review

You may have noticed that I recommended Tubes by Ella’s Wool in my recent Holiday Gift Guide.  I’m so excited about this new product, and can’t wait for you to learn all about these wonderful wool pants for babies and kids! I’ve known for a while now that wool is very special material.  However, it wasn’t until I was contacted by Ella’s Wool’s founder Becca (and I started digging into her website) that I really began to understand exactly why it’s the perfect material to keep our kids warm when enjoying the outdoors in cold temperatures.

Keeping Babies & Kids Warm: Ella's Wool Tubes (Wool Pants) Review | [Read more…]

Give Cheerfully +News and Inspiration//7

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. -Maya Angelou |


  • Last weekend, we traveled to the Apple Capital of our state:  Wenatchee, Washington!
  • While I won’t be doing any shopping on Black Friday, I’m certainly thinking about holiday shopping & hoping to get most of it completed early.  Have you checked out our gift guide?
  • Many national parks and state parks are fee free on Black Friday.  Check out the parks in your area, and then head outdoors!


We’re looking forward to a quiet Thanksgiving in Seattle. Where will you be? Enjoy!

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Wenatchee, WA Weekend in Pictures

Last weekend we got to enjoy the small city of Wenatchee, Washington.  Wenatchee is located in North Central Washington about 2.5 hours from Seattle and 3 hours from Spokane, Washington at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers.

After Slaed attended a conference there over the summer and brought back various tourism information showcasing their new public market and natural beauty of the region, I knew I just had to get out to Wenatchee! I had to see it all for myself, or at least more than just a passing through for breakfast or lunch like I’d done once or twice on our way elsewhere.

Wenatchee’s claim to fame is Apples, and the city identifies as the Apple Capital of the world.  Washington State produces the most apples in the U.S. (about 100 million boxes), and a huge chunk of the deliciously tasty fruit comes from the Wenatchee Valley.  Fun fact: Every single one of those apples are picked by hand!

Since the area boasts 300 days of sunshine a year (plus rich lava-ash soil), it’s ideal for growing apples, but it’s also ideal for a family who may be a little tired of the rainy Western Washington late fall & winter. We didn’t get sunshine for this visit, but we did get a break from the precipitation, especially on this particular day where there was flooding, high winds, and power outages all throughout the state.

Be on the look out for a full city guide of things to do with kids, places to eat, and where to stay, but in the meantime please enjoy this quick snapshot of our trip!

Wenatchee, Washington |

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2015 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Young Traveler and Outdoor Adventurer

Here come the Holidays! I must admit–the thought of a Holiday Gift Guide just a couple of days ago made me want to run for the hills, or maybe crawl under a rock.  I’ve decided to lighten up a bit though, and just let the holidays happen.  I want to be present, enjoy the reason for the season, and appreciate how excited my children get at the sight of twinkle lights, Christmas trees, and ornaments.  Plus, gift giving is so much fun!

Here are my picks to help inspire and equip young travelers and outdoor adventurers:

Gifts for the Young Traveler

2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Young Travelers and Outdoor Adventurers |
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No Layovers! Why Flying Direct with kids (and renting a car) Works for Us

When you are traveling from your city to another major city, of course it makes sense to fly direct. It’s faster and more streamlined–that’s no question. But what about (long haul) travel to a smaller area when a layover and 2nd flight is almost always necessary?

You might be surprised, for example that when we travel to the Carolinas to visit family, we often fly to the Atlanta airport.  And instead of catching a connecting flight to Charlotte, we drive over 4 hours to where our family lives.  We had a similar situation with our trip to the Outer Banks in September.  We flew into Washington, D.C. and drove 4.5 hours to our family’s cottage in Duck, North Carolina instead of connecting to Norfolk.  Also, instead of flying directly to Wisconsin for a week-long vacation there a couple summers ago, we flew in and out of Chicago, and rented a car to travel to Madison and further north to a small town on Lake Michigan.

We have our reasons, and I thought they might provide some help or ideas in planning your holiday travel and vacations in the new year.  One important factor: These reasons are all based on the fact that we need a car at our destination, and would rent one regardless of how close our ultimate destination was to the airport.

No Layers! Why Flying Direct with kids (and renting a car) works for us | [Read more…]

Lessons from Forest School: Seeing more with a Noticer

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it -Confucius

Forest School has had such a positive impact on our family.  The lessons that our 4-year old is learning are not just restricted to him–the lessons seep into family life due to Bergen’s enthusiasm and excitement over sharing all the knowledge, skills and appreciation that he is gaining.

Recently, I mentioned in our preschool hiking post that “noticers” can be a fun addition to any outdoor adventure.  A noticer  is an easy to make tool that allows kids to hone in on the details of anything worth investigating.  When Bergen came out of school raving (and using it profusely) about his noticer, I knew it was not only something worth creating again at home, but something to share with others!

To create your own, you’ll just need the following:

  • Paper Plate
  • Markers, crayons, or paint
  • stick
  • heavy duty tape

Lessons from Forest School--Seeing More with a Noticer | [Read more…]