Thursday, May 25, 2017

Motherhood Just Got an Adventure Makeover: Redefine Your Motherhood Now #GetOutside

Writer, photographer, adventurer mom of three.

Have you ever seen that pic of the mama opossum with her seemingly 17,000 baby opossums clinging to her from every available space on her body. Her eyes are wide as if in shock and you can just hear her fuzzy, overwhelmed, marsupial self saying: How the hedge did I get myself into this…

That was me for years with three little kids: hello 3 year old son and brand new, girl twins. Tiny, pink humans clinging to me. Stuck all over me as if I was made of Velcro. Attached to me as if with Super Glue. Bound to my every limb as if with yards and yards and miles and miles of silver Duct Tape.

And, ahhh, yes, I loved every minute of it because my kids are my heart and my joy and my pride and my every, single, waking breath. However, I was also completely, 100% overwhelmed and completely, 100% lonely for my former mountain mama life that came to a screeching halt while I went into solitary, mama survival mode.

If only the Adventure Mamas Initiative and their bad-ass, kick-ass, empowering, adventure tribe were around at that time for an outdoorsy mama like me. Well, with the advent of social media and mass, social communication, thank god they are here NOW for outdoor women turned moms who need the support and clarity and vision and wisdom of a like-minded community.

Whoop!! Bring it on gnarly, outdoor ladies! We are so ready for this movement.

So what is this Adventure Mamas Initiative and why do we care and want to support them? 

“When we pursue our passions and prioritize self-care, we are better able to fulfill all of our roles. For mothers though, this statement is both especially true and especially challenging. Women's maternal health and well-being directly affects the health and well-being of families, communities, and our culture at large - that's no exaggeration. And yet, it's a shrouded community where honesty is not often encouraged and depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame run rampant." 

“Adventure Mamas Initiative is a women’s health non-profit that is using adventure to combat this. Currently, we are working to raise $30,000 to implement programs, build community, and extend our ability to empower women around the world. To learn more about our efforts, check out our REDEFINING MOTHERHOOD campaign. Your donation supports a revolution in women’s health in a real and tangible way.”

Photo Credit: IG @thatgirlshont
Photo Credit: IG @shrediger

Photo Credit: IG @lilearthmuffin 

I am honored to be a writer-contributor to this incredible group. I dug myself out. I reclaimed my adventures both with and without my kiddos. So I know it deeply, feel it, have lived this truth. 

Start now. It’s never, ever too late. Jump in.

Redefine your motherhood NOW. 


-Annie IG @OutdoorsyMama 
come play!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sutro Baths on the Ocean. San Francisco, California. USA


Photographer's STORY: Clamoring up and over the remains of Sutro Baths near the Cliff House in San Francisco. Odd to see the park service leaving everything to erode with the will of both weather and ocean. Sutro Baths were a massive complex of pools filled with saltwater built in 1896. Hordes of SF locals and tourists in funny looking, striped and cotton-y, long bathing suits paddled around in these baths until it burned down in 1966. I'm so, so glad not to have to wear those bathing suits, tho the pools would have been WOW. #travel #explore #californiaStories -a

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ocean Beach Girl. San Francisco, California. USA


Photographer's STORY: Not my kid. Not my model. Setting up for a gorgeous flotsam and sunset shot and a little German girl with flying skirt and braids photobombs me. She has no idea and no inhibitions. Just pure joy that comes when giddy with ocean air and salt water. Touch the light. #pacificOcean #SF #epicstory -a

Monday, May 15, 2017

Clouds on the Pacific Ocean. Coastal CA. USA


Photographer's STORY: Instantly I'm inspired by the giant heart that the clouds are so clearly trying to make. To fit into the cleavage of the green landscape below. However as i fiddle and gaze at it more, it becomes almost a piece of modern art for me. The tones and stripes and colors and rays and splotches on the Pacific Ocean. This is the beauty of mother nature's work. She creates masterpiece after masterpiece for our delicious interpretation. #publicLands #masterpiece #epicstory -a

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rolling Waves of Green. Sunset Hike. California. USA


Photographer's STORY: 
Sometimes we give up on words. And we just stare in a dumbfounded way. And just soak the Awe in. #glow #nature #epicstory -a

Friday, May 12, 2017

Spring Wildflowers. Mt Tam State Park. California. USA


Photographer's STORY: Heavy, constant rains all winter into spring turn our hiking hills into wildflower gardens and glowing, green waves this year. Looking out over the Pacific Ocean feeling that natural nature buzz. Hills so bright and gorgeous we need to wear our polarized shades... #poppiesWow #epicStory #thisNowYes -a

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Run Like a Girl. New Gear. Spring 2017


Photographer's STORY: How giddy do we get when a new piece of gear shows up at the front door? Kiss the terrified package-delivery-guy inappropriately giddy, yup #epicStory #trailRunning #gearPorn  -a

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Balanced Rock at Sunset. Arches National Park. Utah USA


Photographer's STORY: Sunset comes and the rocks start to glow and we feel as if we've been transported to an otherworldly planet like Mars or beyond. Massive, odd, towering shapes defy gravity and jut out of the earth in random, awesome weirdness. The rock "balancing" on top is the size of 3 school buses. Just wow #epicStory -a

Monday, April 17, 2017

Delicate Arch. Arches National Park. Utah USA


Photographer's STORY: Even bad-arse adventure photographers have occasional squishy hearts. And our hearts crack on this gorgeous, giant-blue-sky day in Utah as we watch this sweet family of six gather themselves underneath one of the most iconic landmarks in America's national park system....It's a hot, uphill hike and a strain for the younger kiddos out there on the trail today and we can just feel their collective positive energy -- together bursting with pride at making it to their goal -- as they link their hands and throw their arms into the air to celebrate. Our hearts grew three sizes today...wink! I love this moment. I love this #epicStory #believe -a

Saturday, April 15, 2017

After Sunrise Mesa Arch. Canyonlands National Park. Utah


Photographer's STORY: We meant to wake up before the rest of the world 4:30am for sunrise shots but deep sleep cycle said otherwise so we wing it and are still blown away by the colors. Huge winds are blowing through Utah today so the skies are whipped up frothy latte color. Continued gasping at national park geological, magical formations. wow #springBreak #roadTrip #epicStory -a

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spontaneous Road Trip. Moab, Utah. USA


Photographer's STORY: It's the end of ski season in the Colorado ski mountains. So in a spontaneous moment, we jump in the wagon and head to Moab for a 24 hour road trip. Only 4 hours away and worth every single gorgeous mile #springBreak #lovetheWest #epicStory #giddyap -a

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

10 Ways to Celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 20th!

Kiddos hiking & leaping with joy in one of our nation's spectacular State Parks.
Mt Tamalpais State Park, California.

Running, jumping, climbing, flinging their arms wide and laughing with glee. Kids who get outside and into the fresh air and nature are happier, healthier kids. We all know it and it’s why almost a million kids and parents will rally together on May 20th this year to celebrate Kids To Parks Day in honor of making it happen every single day for kiddos from all corners of the USA. 

"This year's Kids to Parks Day looks to be the biggest one ever...our goal is to get 1 million kids and their families celebrating this national day of outdoor play," said Grace Lee, National Park Trust's executive director. And I believe it will happen, the spirit is contagious. 

Getting my own family out into the parks is sometimes a challenge however, even for an outdoorsy type mama, what with the loaded schedules and gear prices for the never ending growing feet and bodies and noggins to protect and keep warm. Good news is that with decent planning and sometimes a spontaneous spark for a micro-adventure and an eye for a good deal when we see one, we make time in the outdoors happen.

And what a difference it makes in our lives!

Here are 10 favorite things to do to celebrate Kids to Parks Day and get outside:

1 - Build gigantic sand castles on the beach.

2 - Scramble up a steep hill using your hands and feet.

3 - Fly through the air on a secret rope swing.

4 - Then fling yourself off of a secret rope swing into a chilly watering hole.

5 - Climb a tree and hang out on the branches like the king of the world!

6 - Boogie board in the cold California surf brrrrrrrrr.

7 - Reach the summit of a peak and enjoy the amazing view.

8 - Play pick-up whiffle ball in the park down the street during sunset.

9 - Romp with your best friend, your family dog, who likes parks even more than you do!

10 - Hike through gorgeous forests in the springtime with green, green leaves.

The list goes on and on………

My growing kiddos who once used to revel in investigating every single bug and pebble in a square foot along the trail for an hour are now skilled mountain goats, comfortable in nature, leading the charge up the switchbacks and to the peaks of our local hills. My heart bursts with pride. 


And my heart bursts with pride with the honor of helping get almost a million kids and adults outside and into parks on May 20th by sharing affordable gear to take that pocketbook stress off of families. 

Kids To Parks partner Northside is offering a GIVEAWAY for a pair of their hiking boots. Sturdy. Solid. Less expensive.

Whoop! Win a pair of hiking boots like these from Northside!

So go for it. Get your kids and family outside on May 20th and every day. And win a pair of hiking boots to boot. You can enter to win in the form below! Giveaway is OVER we have a winner :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more fun photos, chats, news follow @OutdoorsyMama on  Instagram   Facebook and twitter.


-Annie @OutdoorsyMama

Disclaimer Giveaway: Giveaway is open to US Residents only and starts on March 15 12am and ends on March 23 12am. The winner of one pair of hiking boots will be chosen and a response within 48 hours is required. 

Disclaimer Gear: Northside provided gear for me and my kids to field test and for this giveaway. All opinions are formed, thought over, mulled, churned and are 100% my own.


Give back. Do good. Get kids into nature.
Photo: National Park Trust
Check out these other great articles about Kids To Parks:
5 Perfect Spring Day Ideas to Get Kids Outside
Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

North Face Global Athletes and Partners Connect Kids with the Outdoors in “Every Kid in a Park” Event

Celebrating "Every Kid in a Park" granting free National Park Passes to all 4th graders nationwide!
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Photo: National Park Trust

The super-tall, super-lean, super-endurance runner Dylan Bowman is bent over a bunch of outdoor gear - warm jacket, rain layer, etc - rolling up each item as tightly as possible and stuffing them into a backpack, demonstrating to a group of wide-eyed 4th graders how to pack a backpack for a day hike.

He leans in and asks this small group of eight or so kids from Hoover Elementary School in Oakland, California: how many of you have ever gone hiking? Two of the eight kids raise their hands. Just two.

North Face global athlete Dylan Bowman teaching about packing a backpack.
Photo: National Park Trust

I don’t know why I find that number surprising. I suppose it’s because I live and breathe the outdoors and I’m surrounded by like minded enthusiasts both in my community and online. But once I reach out of my comfort-bubble-zone, I remember the stark reality that most kids in the United States don’t have my kind of access to the outdoors and don’t get to go to parks beyond their local, neighborhood park. 

That’s why last week’s event at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, which brought together 60 students from Oakland to enjoy a day of outdoor games and exploring and was sponsored by a powerful partnership of outdoor-kid-evangelist players, is so vital and touching. 

The official 4th Grade Pass to all U.S. National Parks.

Each and every one of these 60 - 4th graders was proudly given a National Parks Pass to hang around their necks, as if receiving an Olympic Medal, for their entire family to have free access to all of America’s public lands and waters for the entire year, an initiative funded by “Every Kid in a Park” which launched out of the White House last year. And to support and celebrate that initiative, The North Face Explore Fund, The Outdoor Alliance for Kids, The National Park Service and The National Park Trust have all banded together to create this event and similar events around the nation.

Teaching a group of eager 4th graders how to set up a tent.
Photo: National Park Trust

Why is this so important? 

“Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world and programs like this are critical to ensuring all kids can visit their public lands,” explains OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. And she’s right. By providing free access to our nation’s great and treasured parks, this initiative helps alleviate a piece of one the barriers, a financial one, and allows more families to play in the outdoors which in turn brings about a healthier, more active population overall. 

Senior Director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face, Ann Krcik aptly adds, “through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.” This is key. This is vital. By introducing this giant population of 4th graders and their families to the Parks every year, we are creating stewards for wild places and green spaces for generations to come.

North Face athletes mixing it up in the backpack relay race with some giddy 4th graders.
Photo: National Park Trust

So now we circle back to our super-athlete Dylan Bowman and this diverse group of wide-eyed kids hanging onto his every word. The “backpack relay race” starts and each kid is gleefully rolling up gear and smashing it into the backpack as fast as possible to beat the other team of classmates next to them, racing back and forth, gear and bodies flying everywhere. 

It’s this kind of giddy joy that helps tells the story of why getting these kids access to the outdoors is so important and why so many groups are making this their mission.

Let’s all grab our backpacks and jump on board. To the summit!

For more conversation about the outdoors find me on twitter, facebook and instagram.

-Annie @OutdoorsyMama 



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For more information about these groups making a difference for kids:

About The North Face®: The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About National Park Trust: National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, NPT has completed more than 100 land projects benefiting 40 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C.  Since 2009, our Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 2,000,000 students across the country with our nation’s parks, public lands and waters (ParkTrust.org).


About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org