New Year’s Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway!

Are you a New Year’s resolution person? This year, I created more of a mantra rather than lofty goals as I figure I have enough “new” on my plate adding another little person to our world.

Always in the back of my mind (and that of my husband Slaed’s) though is budgeting and saving money.  Also of great importance and a major focus of our life? Our family’s mission to get out, experience, and explore.  Can you guess one of the ways we accomplish both?


New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway!

We’ve sung the praises of the Chinook Book before, and I’m so happy to be back again this year.   All that we love about “the book” remains, but this year there are several new features that make the product (or “tool” as we like to think of it) even better and even more suitable for active families.  That’s why I’m excited to share that we get to give away SIX Chinook Book mobile apps to 6 lucky readers!

Recap: What is the Chinook Book?

The Chinook Book (print and mobile app versions) is a coupon book containing loads of valuable saving opportunities on dining, entertainment, recreation, groceries, and more.  The print version has coupons that are cut out and simply presented to the merchant at the time of purchase.

The mobile version works as a downloaded app on your phone (or mobile device).  Pull the coupon up on your phone or mobile device and show the merchant your screen.  A couple of clicks & your discount is applied!

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway!

What’s New?

  • Users have a full access subscription.  Instead of coupons expiring right before a new book/app comes out for the year (in the fall), users have access to coupons 12 months after the app is activated.  Before, all the coupons would just expire at the end of August and disappear, but now they remain for a full year after the subscription is activated.
  • With the app, users have access to ALL of the other cities where Chinook Book exists, so if you happen to be traveling to one of the other cities, you’ll get to load all the coupons & take advantage of big savings.  With family in Denver & the Bay Area, and Portland just a few hours away, this is HUGE for us!   Chinook has coupon packages in the following cities:
    • Denver, CO
    • The Bay Area
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • Portland, OR
    • Seattle, WA
    • And limited (but expanding packages) in…
      • Sacramento, CA
      • Corvallis & Eugene, OR
      • Salt Lake City, UT
      • Connecticut
  • Seattle’s Chinook book has an additional 120 new coupons compared to last year’s book! Here are a few from various categories that I am most excited about…
    • Dining:
      • Araya’s Place–A vegetarian Thai restaurant right in our neighborhood
      • Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee–One of Tom Douglas’ newest establishments
      • Capitol Cider–I’m a huge fan of cider & love that they offer a gluten-free menu
    • Family Activities:
      • Pacific Science Center–Can’t wait to explore the center again now that Bergen is a little older. Just getting to experience the butterfly room is enough to go!
      • Burke Museum–We’ve never been to this museum located in the University District, and I’d love to see the mask that inspired the Seahawks logo before the exhibit ends this summer.
      • Kids Discovery Museum (Bainbridge Island)–With tons of coupons on Bainbridge Island (including ferry discounts), we could create a whole day of savings.  Check out our Father’s Day of Savings on Bainbridge from a few years back.
    • Travel/Recreation:
      • Bloedel Reserve–An amazing public garden on Bainbridge Island…
      • Issaquah Paddle Sports–Would love to do some paddleboarding this summer!
      • Center for Wooden Boats–Would love to rent a canoe or row boat and paddle around Lake Union.
  • There are now “seasonal” offers included in the app.  These coupons come and go every two months, and there is a special tab (under the coupon section) where they can be accessed.  I love how this keeps “the book” fresh, and creates new opportunities for us to check out places around our region AND SAVE!

Our Savings Adventures so far…

We’ve only had the 2015 Chinook Book and app for a few weeks now, but we’ve ready put it to good use saving on coffee, lunch, and a visit to our local drug store.  The most memorable savings event though was a recent trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.  With the free youth or tot admission with the purchase of an adult admission, Bergen was able to visit the zoo and aquarium at no charge.

While we are members of the Woodland Park Zoo in our home city of Seattle, we’d never taken Bergen (or Georgia) to our “sister zoo” to the south.  We loved the opportunity to see a different set of animals with such a large focus on sealife.  The walruses were some of the most memorable animals for our family.  We still can’t get over their massive size! Getting to watch the tiger cubs romp and play was pretty special too!

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: Tacoma, WA |

 To Enter the Giveaway of 6 Chinook Book Mobile Subscriptions:

 Winner Winner…

6 Mobile Subscription Packs will be given away! Contest ends and all entries must be received by Friday, 1/30/15 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.  Winners will be chosen at random and notified on Monday, 2/2/15.  Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18 years or older.  After notification, winners have 3 days to connect.  Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Many thanks to Chinook Book-Seattle & Puget Sound for providing print and mobile packs for giveaway and review.  All opinions about the books and app are my own.  

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway!


Book Review: The Truth About Nature

Book Review: The Truth about Nature |

Quiz Time!

True or False?

  1. A rooster only crows in the morning.
  2. A snail is a slug with a shell on its back.
  3. Birds explode if they eat rice.
  4. Frogs ribbit.
  5. Starfish and jellyfish are both types of fish.
  6. You can’t get sunburned on a cloudy day.
  7. Mice eat cheese.
  8. Playing in the cold makes you sick.

Ready with your answers?

Would you believe that to an extent all of these statements are actually false?

Hoping information will equip families to get outside and explore the natural world, authors Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer are sharing their extensive knowledge of the environment in the Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors.  Instead of letting misconceptions scare us, and keep us indoors, they’re thinking the facts will peak curiosity and inspire us to do a little experimenting of our own.

Of the 144 myths featured in the book, the above 8 were the ones that were the most interesting, thought provoking, and relevant to our family.  I really did think that snails and slugs were the same, and completely expected a slug to just hop aboard a shell when moved to do so! I also believed what everyone has said these last 15 years or so about throwing rice at weddings.  It turns out that the birds will not only be just fine if they ingest rice, but more importantly, they are not even really interested in eating rice!

While our son Bergen (3 years old) isn’t quite able to enjoy the book right alongside us (he does adore the artwork), we are more than appreciative of its contents.  A peak into our conversations these days…

  • Parent explains a situation…answers a question…or just simply states a fact. 
  • Bergen’s response time and time again to the point where it’s actually expected: WHY?

Stacy and Ken are really helping us out.  Thanks to all that they’ve crammed in this book, my husband and I are keeping a few steps ahead of Bergen.  At least when it comes to some of our outdoor adventures, we will be able to provide a few insights here and there, and I honestly feel more prepared, excited, and motivated to get outside.

So many of the myths uncovered in the book are just asking to be tested out! A few of the fall myths we’ll be investigating: All oak trees have acorns, All trees lose their leaves, and All rocks sink in water.

Book Review: The Truth about Nature |

In addition to debunking myths, which are organized by season and rated on a scale from 1 to 3, the book also includes four additional features throughout:

  • Stranger than Fiction (hard to believe tidbits that are actually true)
  • Luck Legends (fun superstitions from the natural world that are not actually true)
  • Weather Legends (quirky and fun, but not actually accurate ways in which people predict and explain the weather)
  • Be a Scientist (experiments to investigate and explore more)

Info to Know

  • Purchase the book online through all major booksellers or your favorite local bookstore!
  • Cost: $18.95

School Visit Contest!

To celebrate the release of the book, the authors are running a contest! Create a video or share a photo that tackles a commonly misconceived nature myth. You can choose one of the myths from the book or come up with one of your own. The lucky winner will receive an author visit (from Stacy and Ken) to their school! For more information visit the Falcon Guides website.  Deadline to enter is November 23, 2014.

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of The Truth about Nature book for purposes of review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.





Sun Safe on Oahu’s Beaches +Block Island Sunscreen Giveaway

Doesn’t feel so seasonal to be writing about sun protection as fall (in the northern hemisphere) has started, the clouds are beginning to roll in, and the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter.  Especially here in the Pacific Northwest, I have to admit, I start to get a little less anxious (okay, A LOT less anxious) about the possibility of the sun burning my family in the fall and winter months.


I apply a sunscreen each morning via my daily moisturizer.   No matter the season or weather forecast.  Admittedly, my skin is the fairest of fair, freckled, and just asking to be burned.  I get sunburned just thinking about the sun.  Not really, but I have been burned indoors.  You just never know.  It’s important to take a few sun safety steps no matter the season.

The other reason to be thinking about sun safety and protection this time of year? Travel.

Sun Safe on the Beach +Block Island Sunscreen Giveaway! | Continue reading

Tale of the Traveling Sandals: Acorn Vista Wedge Review+A Chance to Win!

Shoes. Always a worry, a question, and a debate in our household when packing for a trip. No matter the distance or destination!  How many pairs do we want to bring verses How many pairs do we need to bring? What’s necessary and what’s just overkill?  And thinking practically, what’s going to fit in our luggage?

Thanks to the folks at Acorn, who you may recognize as that company that makes incredibly cozy slippers, packing shoes (at least for warm weather travel) just got a lot easier for me.

I was asked to give the sandals a test drive, and the opportunity couldn’t have come up at a better time.  The Acorn Vista Wedge (T-Strap) Sandals arrived just before for my 10-day adventure to the Carolinas and Puerto Rico where, along with a few other wearings here and there, I tried them out on Easter Sunday (church and brunch) and for my friends’ wedding rehearsal and dinner in Old San Juan.

About the Acorn Vista Wedge Sandals

The vista wedge sandals are a new line from acorn featuring a 2.5 inch heel made of EVA, leather straps, and a cozy footbed.  The sandals come in both a variety of colors from neutral (black or pewter) to a little more exciting (navy/sea or fawn/crimson), and a variety of styles including the T-Strap (my choice), ankle, and 3-strap.  The EVA material makes for a lightweight product without compromising stability and the footbed is layered with a leather lining (wicks moisture) and contoured arch support.

Tale of the Traveling Sandals: Acorn Vista Wedge+A Chance to Win! Continue reading

Treats on the Trail: Honey Stinger Kids’ Products and Other Snack Ideas +Giveaway

I recently shared 10 tips for hiking with toddlers and young children, and since getting out on the trail whether here in Western Washington or in our travels around the country is our favorite outdoor activity to do as a family, I wanted to dive into each tip even deeper.  Over the course of the year, I will dedicate one post for each of the 10 tips to give you more depth and detail into how we put the advice into practice and what it looks like for our family.

Tip #5: Ration Snacks and Use Treats for Motivation. 

There’s no denying that my son loves to hike.  As I’ve mentioned before, these days, anytime he sees any kind of natural area, mountain, forest, tree, or patch of grass, he asks if we are going to go on a hike.  Lucky for us at this point, he’s not picky.  Even the little sections of trees around the campsite during our recent trip to the Oregon coast could be considered “hikeable” in his eyes, and he loved exploring under the guidance of his older cousin.

Even with such a great interest though, he still needs motivation, and little energy boosts here and there to keep him moving along.  That motivation can come in many forms (extra verbal encouragement, playing a game, shifting his focus to something ahead), but the easiest and probably one of the most successful ways is to offer a treat.

Incidentally, in addition to moving kids along the trail and providing a necessary snack, I’ve also found treats to be a way to prevent the “turn-around meltdown”.  You see, Bergen (2.5 years old) loves hiking so much that he never wants to turn around and go back.  Loops are great, but not always available, so I’ve finally learned to anticipate the turn-around point, and provide the snack then!

10 Favorite Treats for the Trail

1. Trail Mix

Whether you call it “GORP” or trail mix or some other fun name (I hear that are some great variations in Europe), the basics of this combination of treats is perfect for hiking.  Personally, I love a simple mix with raisins, peanuts, and some sort of chocolate.  Add in other nuts like cashews, walnuts, almonds, and that’s great too! Other dried fruit (cranberries, pineapple, cherries, etc.) gives some variety, along with add-ons like granola, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin), and pretzels.

Treats on the Trail: Honey Stinger Kids’ Products & Other Snack Ideas +Giveaway | Continue reading

Thankful for Outdoor Families Instagram Contest!

My favorite place to be on social media is Instagram.  I love getting to share little snippets of our lives from our outdoor adventures to our travels here in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.  Even better, I get to see tiny glimpses of what others are up to, find inspiration, camaraderie, and ideas, and stay in touch with family and friends. 

Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be hosting an incredibly fun instagram contest with a bunch of my outdoor blogging friends to show and share how grateful we are for families and the outdoors during this *THANKFUL* month of November! 

Enter to win the #outdoorfamilies giveaway!  Simply share a picture of you and your family doing an outdoor activity on instagram and use the hashtags #outdoorfamilies and #thankfulforfamilies. Contest runs from November 19-26. You can share a photo daily (up to 7 total photos) and winners will be chosen at random and announced on Instagram by each participating blogger on their blogs.

What you can win:

Outdoor Families Instagram Contest |

**All prizes with the exception of one (noted) will be open to both US and Canadian residents**

Giveaway entry rules:

  • Must be a resident of US or Canada
  • All photos must be originals and taken by YOU (a reposted photo will disqualify you!)
  • All photos must be tagged with BOTH #outdoorfamilies AND #thankfulforfamilies and submitted by 10 pm MST on November 26th.
  • All winners will be chosen randomly from all submitted entries at the end of the week and announced on each of the blogs after November 26th.  Comments will also be left on the winning photos to let you know you won.

Participating Bloggers:

(who worked hard to round up these great prizes!) *Make sure you check out all of these great blogs!*

  1. Adventure Tykes:
  2. Adventurous Moms:
  3. The Adventures in Parenthood Project:
  4. Chasqui Mom:
  5. Go Adventure Mom:
  6. Mommy Hiker:
  7. The Kid Project:
  8. Tales of a Mountain Mama:
  9. Velo Mom:
  10. Wild Tales Of:

See you over on Instagram!

Outdoor Families Instagram Contest! |

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Come join the conversation! You can keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email. We’d also love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitterIf you enjoyed this post, please “like it”, “tweet it” or “pin it”! 

Kowalli Baby Carrier Cover Giveaway!

I recently posted about the Kowalli Carrier Cover that we just added to our Adventure Gear Arsenal.  I’m so happy with this handy tool that keeps both me and Bergen (2 years old) warm while I’m lugging him around in the ergo carrier.

Adventure Gear: Staying Warm and Dry with Kowalli's Carrier Cover |

I’m thrilled to announce that the folks at Kowalli would like to giveaway a carrier cover to one our readers! Remember, you can read all about the details of the carrier cover, how it works, and what I love about it in my previous review.

Kowallis can be used with all soft carriers (ergo, moby, beco, etc), and is made for children 0-3 years old.  Even if you don’t have a little one at home, what a great gift for your babywearing family and friends!

To Enter the Giveaway

  • Easy: “Like” Kowalli on facebook, and leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you’ve done so. 
  • Bonus Entries-Your name will be entered again depending on how many bonus entries you submit thus increasing your chances of winning (make sure to tell us in your comment which of these you did or already do!):

Winner, Winner…

1 Kowalli Carrier Cover (valued at $69) will be given away to one lucky reader! Winner gets to choose from several great color combinations that Kowalli offers. Contest ends and all entries must be received by Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.  Winners will be chosen at random and notified on Monday, October 21, 2013.  Giveaway open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older.  After notification, winners have 3 days to connect.  Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me!

*Kowalli Carrier Cover Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner!*

Many thanks to Kowalli for providing one of the carrier covers for the giveaway.  All opinions about the Kowalli Carrier Cover are my own.  

Adventure Gear: Staying Warm and Dry with Kowalli's Carrier Cover |