Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kids! BEST Holiday Gifts for Outdoorsy Kids


No Pink Plastic Xmas Toys for These Outdoorsy Kids

Ohhhh this is SO MUCH FUN!!!   

First, put the pink, plastic, golden headed, American-Dolly, whinging and dinging, flying-angry-angry-bird toys-that-breed-more-plastic-at-night ideas way back, wayyyy back into the back-closet of your head. That is not this list.

This is the list:

1)   Every hiking, running, biking, jumping, climbing kid can use some version of the Camelback Hydration Pack. They are “cool” and practical and keep those kids drinking – woo! -- because it’s FUN to sip from the weird, octopus, plastic tube that comes, oddly, from their back! Link to Kid's Camelback Ideas
2)   They may roll their eyes when their monogramed LLBean Canvas Boat Bag arrives (gag-me, mom!!!) … but you, Mama, will LOVE it and your kiddo will learn! Best organizer, schlepper, sturdy, spill your yogurt inside, carrier of EVERYTHING from sleepovers to soccer to afternoon playdate snacks. Link to LLBean Bag
3)   Sleds, sleds, sleds! Ok, maybe a little plastic is allowed on this list... just because it looks so fun! This Zipfy Luge Sled has gotten mostly positive reviews.  As a California girl now, I have not tried it as it’s prob not so great on our Cali grass and boulders. But as a former ski town girl, we always need a sled on a kid’s Xmas list, so let me know what you think! Link to Zipfy Luge Sled
4)    Remember when it was Tang? Now it's Astronaut Ice Cream! The perfect out-of-this-world stocking stuffer that bends the imagination... Freeze-dried ice cream that’s a convenient treat for a hike, a super cool concept for kids, and somewhat delicious while you crunch, crunch, crunch your ice cream snack. Major Tom to Ground Control…. Link to Astronaut Ice Cream Ideas
5)   This has “duuuuuuude!!!” written all over it.... For older, active kids: the much-coveted, much-begged-for, much-babbled-about big-ticket item: the GoPro Helmet Cam.  Waterproof, wi-fi built-in. Need I say more? Duuuuuude! Link to GoPro Ideas
6)   Adopt a Seal, Eagle, Sea Otter, Tiger, Wolf, Penguin…..…  This is a great way to make an impact on your kids’ sense of giving and caring by combining a gift of “adopt some sort of big-eyed, adorable animal” with related books, stuffed animals, videos, even, most powerfully, tickets to go see the organization’s facility. There are so many great organizations to support. And a gift like this goes a looong, loooong way.... and brings back home the feel-good giving we are all trying to instill in our kiddos while we try to avoid the gerbil-wheel spinning of over-consumerism. Whew! Link to Adopt a Seal
7)   Kids headlamps. Good for summer camp, sunrise hikes, tents, and, let’s face it, illegal, undercover, late-night reading of books way past bedtime. Link to Headlamp Ideas
8)   Finally, Walkie Talkies are the ultimate Outdoorsy Kid gift. For creative play (we have secret agents plotting takeover of the neighborhood daily) and a high-tech, gizmo feel of big-kid cool-ness. As well as practical for ski area or hiking safety use. We love these! Link to Walkie Talkie Ideas

Let us know about more ideas and what you think! Happy shopping!

Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moms! BEST Holiday Gifts for Outdoorsy Mamas This Year


Don't Get Her Socks This Christmas....
Ho ho ho, families! It’s that time of year when dads get their tie racks replenished and moms get their chapsticks, socks, and sexy kitchen aprons updated. 

Just what every Outdoorsy Mama had on her list!

Uh, not.

Here’s a REAL list of what we Outdoorsy Mamas want this year. (Of course, what we REALLY want is peace, love and happiness for all human-kind, but that realistically doesn’t fit under the tree or in an Xmas Stocking…)

 So here you go!

1)   Homemade clay blobs from the kids' art class.... makes our hearts SOAR!
2)   Bottle of Kettle One for the freezer with two, Italian made martini glasses and a fresh Meyer’s Lemon.
3)   Weekend away with a girlfriend at Miraval Resort. Or any place with the word “resort” attached to it. http://www.miravalresorts.com 
4)   A lightweight, day-hike women’s backpack. We are all about day-hikes with girlfriends these days. It’s what quenches our adventurous spirit and gets us home in time to pick-up the kids and make the mac&cheese. Check out this assortment from REI: http://www.rei.com/search?query=women%27s+backpacks 
5)   Prana yoga and chill-out clothing. Yummy. The word “prana” itself is defined as life-force, the breath of life. And 20% of many holiday purchases go to an outdoor outreach program for underprivileged kids. Like. Like! http://www.prana.com
Blissful Outdoorsy Mama!
(Credit: Gaylord Hotels)
6)   A day pass, anywhere, to any local spa! Dads, take note: you want more nookie? This is an all-time, almost guaranteed roll in the sack after a spa day for your Outdoorsy wife…. Or, frankly, any wife. Bump it up a level and arrange a sitter and PICK HER UP after her spa day with the instructions “wear a sexy dress and shoes and meet me at the front at 6pm.”  Hot, steamy, mysterious bliss!!! 
7)   Any Barbara Kingsolver novel. She’s a storyteller and former biology teacher – she speaks our Ma Nature language. Just released: Flight Behavior. http://www.kingsolver.com/books/  
8)   Frankly, anything from Italy…
9)   Any clothing of any sort from Luluemon, North Face, Title 9, Athletica. Vital part: keep the receipt!!! We Outdoorsy Mamas love to open the box, ooh and ahh, and then head back to the store immediately to get the actual right size, color, and style. But the generous intent is greatly appreciated!!!

Did I forget anything? Let me know. Add to the list!

Namaste & Three Cheers to you all! -OM

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Great Thanksgiving Hike! Bringing Families Together


8:30am Sunrise on Dipsea Trail 1/2 Way Point

6:20am wake up call.

It’s pitch black outside in Northern California on a 45degree Thanksgiving morning.

No birds twittering. It’s too early! And our 3 kids agree. Groaning and moaning, we cajole them out of bed with promises of “a great hike!!!” And when that doesn’t work, a little Mommy Grizz gentle growling does the trick. We’re on a tight schedule.

6:57am we roll-up to the trailhead drop-off point at the base of the world renown Dipsea Hike. 7.1 miles of gorgeous, diverse terrain, including redwood groves and wide-open, coastal hills rolling above the Pacific. With segments sporting ominous names like: Cardiac Hill, Steep Ravine and the completely insulting Insult Hill just at the final mile, it’s a nail biter for the uninitiated...

It’s still completely dark out.

In the headlights of our big old car, I can make out 30 or so wide-awake hikers of all Thanksgiving family ages with huge, excited smiles on their faces. They’re gathering, amassing, waiting at the base of the trail for the last arrivals… Ready for the challenge!

7:03ish am – Blast off!!! 3rd, 4th, 5th and up graders lead the charge up the beginning of the 672 steps of stairs to start the hike off, as the rest of the more old-farty (that's us!) or possibly more-sane group follows.

9am half-way point. Younger kids and select moms & dads hike into the Dipsea from an easy ½ way point trail at Pantoll -- so we can join together to hike to the grand finale breakfast at the surfside town of Stinson Beach on the other side of the Marin Headlands. Snickers and Starbursts and other kid energy treats are dolled out ….AND a big group photo is taken – a fantastic hodge-podge of kids and adults in vibrant outdoor gear with the spectacular ocean behind us on a Ma Nature ordered blue-bird sky day.

By 10:30ish am the hikers riding sweep are the final ones to come in for a landing at Stinson: happy, tired, skin knee-d. High-fiving at the tremendous energy output and achievement on an early Thanksgiving morn. We are giddy.

11am we’re coffee-d, donut-ted, even Pop-tart-treated after milling around in the park chatting about our hike and the upcoming day. And we all head off to our respective showers, formal wear, and Thanksgiving feasts.

Wherever we live, we are thankful to friends like my friend LR, who organize adventures like these when we’re all so far away from our own families where we grew up. And so thankful for bringing us together as a team with an exciting goal for all ages – a giant family of outdoorsy folk enjoying Ma Nature at her finest.

Namaste & Three Cheers! -OM

Links to the Dipsea Trail: http://www.dipsea.org/course.html




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ma Nature & Universe Thankful for Over 4,000 Page Views for Outdoorsy Mama’s Blog


“Wow! Mommy blogs are HOT and this one’s on fire!!!”  exclaimed Ma Nature as she brined her turkey today.

“It once again proves that blathering on about family disasters and throwing in a little fresh air and sunshine and bike riding, you can really come up some compelling content!”

Universe couldn’t be reached for comment however, we’re sure he/she/it would continue to agree.

Gobble Gobble and Thanks! -OM