Celebrating the Iditarod with Wiggle-Waggle Woof 1, 2, 3: A Counting Book

While off in Arizona a couple of weeks back, Bergen (3.5 years old) and I decided to take a break from the hot and dry conditions of the Sonoran Desert, and instead imagined we were in cold and wet Alaska cheering on dog sled teams as they rushed past us. Why you might ask? Well, the Iditarod, dubbed “The Last Great Race” was officially starting that day, and we wanted to catch a little bit of the spirit.

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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! WildTalesof.com

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! WildTalesof.com

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 | WildTalesof.com

 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! WildTalesof.com

Keepng Feet Warm, Dry and Supported: Muddy Munchkin Boots by MyMayu Review

I’ve been disappointed by kids rain boots ever since Bergen started to walk.

We live in Seattle.

We need boots that keep his feet dry and stay relatively dry inside.  Rain here isn’t just a once in a while thing. Boots can be necessary multiple days in a row, and often more than once a day.  We don’t have time to wait for wet boot linings to dry.

We also need boots that last.  With frequent use, we can’t worry about tears and gaps developing after just a season (or a few wears).  Our son is very active.  Between playground romping, hiking, scooting around on his balance bike, and trekking through the neighborhood, he’s quite hard on shoes.

Plus with this frequent use, the boots have to be supportive.  Clunky rain boots that cause him to trip and fall just won’t work.

Up until this recently, we made do, but we really weren’t happy with the (run of the mill) rain boots we’d purchased, and even with a lot of research for alternatives and trying to scope out what other kids were wearing, we were coming up short.

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Get Ready to Fly: Children’s Books to Prepare Kids for Air Travel

The more we talk and prepare our 3-year old for outings, trips, and activities, the more successful these experiences tend to be for our family.  Yes, talking about what’s coming up can mean we are fielded with tons of questions, and the possibility of a little excitement and anticipation.  However, at least at this point it doesn’t seem to be getting in the way or hindering any of the potential fun.

I’ve written about preparing kids and building their background knowledge for specific locales with children’s books, and also think picture books come in handy for general topics–like airplanes!  Over the past few months, especially to get ready for our big flight to Oahu, I’ve compiled a handful of great stories and informational books to help guide little airplane passengers.  The goal is to set-up expectations for behavior as well as get to know the ins and outs of airplanes and airports: All in hopes that a smooth, (mostly) tear free, flight happens for all passengers involved!

Get Ready to Fly: Children's Books to Prepare Kids for Air Travel | WildTalesof.com

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Family Accommodations on Oahu’s North Shore: Haleiwa Getaway

“Where’s our town, Mom?

Where’s our vacation rental?”

Once Bergen (3-years old) started asking us this each time we journeyed “away from home” after just a day or so on Oahu, we knew we’d found the right spot for our recent Hawaiian travels.  Even though we took him on some pretty awesome adventures, from beaches to pineapple trains to historic landmarks and delicious meals, by the end of the afternoon or evening, he was always ready to return to our rental house.

Similar to our Kauai vacation rental set-up, we chose a home that was walking distance to the beach, but also close to town.  At the same time, we also wanted the surrounding area to be quiet enough to be able to relax and recharge.  Finally, let’s not forget that we’re flying all the way to Hawaii and staying for a week.  The price has to be reasonable. Were we happy with our choice of rental? Absolutely.

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Book Review: The Truth About Nature

Book Review: The Truth about Nature |WildTalesof.com

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 |WildTalesof.com

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.

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