Lake Sammamish State Park, located in Issaquah, Washington has so much for families to enjoy. We recently visited the park with a mission to check out their new playground, which opened last fall (October 2016). The playground, designed for kids ages 2-12, mirrors the area’s nature features and historical attributes. The kids and I were impressed to say the least! Along with some of the usual playground offerings, we found a mushroom house, climbable salmon making their way into the lake, and a coal mine to explore.
Even more than coating ourselves with bug spray, on our recent trip to St. John, it was so important for us to slather on sunscreen from sun up to sun down. The Caribbean sun is powerful, and our pale Seattle skin was definitely not used to the constant sunshine. While on the island, we had the chance to try out the Babytime! Sunny Sunscreen. We were provided with a sample bottle in exchange for our honest thoughts and review.
In honor of earth day this past weekend, I wanted to share some of the ways our family is reducing our carbon footprint. It’s not easy, but a the same time, it’s also not that hard to make a few small changes that will grow and multiply into a lasting impact.
I’m no expert and certainly not perfect. However, I recently read a new book called Sustainability Made Simple, and it’s caused a huge shift in my thinking. It’s also opened my eyes to the consequences of many of our everyday choices. According to the authors, Rosaly Byrd and Laurèn Demates, using and purchasing less along with supporting companies that are more environmentally responsible should be our most important focus.
During our annual visit the Phoenix area, between watching our Mariners in Spring Training, visiting with family, and enjoying the break from gloomy Seattle weather, we always make time for a family hike in the desert. So far, we’ve hiked in the White Tank Mountains, around Lake Pleasant, and explored Glendale’s Thunderbird Park. Each of these hikes have allowed us to connect with natural environment that can often get overshadowed by the flurry and excitement of travel (combined with suburban sprawl).
On our most recent trip this past March, we ventured northeast of Phoenix to Cave Creek Regional Park. In anticipation of visiting the area, I often scope out new (to us) parks by simply pulling up our location (the Peoria area) in google maps. I then pore over the the screen, zooming in and out, looking for green spaces.
When I find one that looks interesting, I find the driving distance and time estimation. Our general rule considering the ages of our kids, and the goal to be back for afternoon nap time, is to choose something within a 45 minute drive. Cave Creek Regional Park definitely fit the bill!
With winter recently coming to a close, you might not be interested in cold weather gear. However, if you live in a region still experiencing chilly temperatures or want to plan ahead for next fall and winter, you’ll want to consider Stonz Wear.
Stonz Wear is a children’s outerwear brand featuring cold (wet and snowy) weather accessories. They specialize in boots and mittens, and we particularly love the story of their origin. Try as she might, Stonz’ founder Lisa Will, could not keep her young son’s feet warm. She wanted to shoe or boot that would protect those tiny feet from the cold AND stay on, so she got to work designing and creating her own.
Imagine waking up and stepping outside your front door onto a covered porch. In front of you, a babbling stream greets you, bringing an overwhelming sense of peace to your day. Surrounding you from above are towering evergreen trees helping you to feel centered even though tasks, responsibilities, and to-do list items try to impose.
Then as your eyes dance from the calming water to the majestic trees, you realize that the entire area is covered in a blanket of fresh white snow. Truly a winter wonderland that, despite the chill in the air, feels like heaven.
Sounds like a dream, right? Well, this is actually what we experienced just a few weeks ago during our stay at Mounthaven Resort near Mount Rainier National Park.