Same color as my beloved but illegal Cheetos but SO MUCH BETTER than Cheetos! Vine-ripe, end of summer, sweet Sun-Sugar Tomatoes to pop in your mouth for a healthy snack!

Yup. Same orange color as Cheetos, but better healthy choice.
Grab a handful. Ripe now!

Thanks to LC for sharing the love. Our homework? Seek and find and hoard and eat! 

(And maybe share with the kids.)

Namaste & Three Cheers -OM

For more:
Sun Sugar Tomatoes yum yum

P.S. Why is the jar half empty? Because we couldn't stop eating during the photoshoot... & we're adding the rest to our end of summer dinner menu. Num.


Cool, Portable, Solar iPhone Charger for Your Hiking, Backpacking, Outdoor Adventure! Product Review: StrongVolt 7W Solar Charger

Charging my phone during PB&J lunch break...

Ok, so let’s face the facts that we all – well, most of us – are packing our screens, our phones which are also our still and video cameras, with us on our adventures these days. The occasional, healthy: I’M LEAVING IT AT HOME happens sometimes. But, really, the phones are coming with us.

So here’s a cool, portable way to get a re-charge for our phones courtesy of the sun rays of Mother Nature as we’re eating our bologna or PB&J sandwich from the top of the peak we’ve climbed that morning. 

A 11.5 ounce solar charger complete with grommet holes so we can hang it from any willing backpack or tent or tree to get to that sun and re-charge the batteries so we can have enough power to catch the video of the giant bear chasing us down the hill to be posted on YouTube and get a million hits the next day…

So I took my charger for a test-spin yesterday with a completely de-charged iPhone and it took @ 4.5 hours to charge fully with me needing to re-plug it in a few times to get the charge going again as it stopped a few times. This was with the new iOS 7 software. I tested it again again with my son’s iTouch and it also took @ 4.5 hours with a few re-plugs in with the old Apple software. Their site say it should take @ 2.5 hours, and no doubt they've done more exact testing as it's important to note i was definitely not noticing right-away that the charge had stopped -- i am a busy mama! -- so very likely 10s and 10s of minutes were added to the actual charge time that i got. But, note, if you're not sitting next to it, it can stop charging and needs a re-plug.

I did notice that the charging starts immediately, as soon as i even just walked into sunlight i got a "bweep!" from my phone, so even a quick lunch break in the sun will give us more juice.

Overall, I am impressed and LOVE that Ma Nature is powering this thing. And i LOVE that I can get a re-charge in the middle of a canoe trip down the Colorado river, on a camel’s back on the Sahara, or from the top of Everest if I ever get there. (Ok, slight exaggeration maybe on the last two, but are they???)

They’re $59.99 at StrongVolt. Easy to use. Relatively light and compact - the 4 solar panels fold up like a long wallet. Check it out, do your homework, avid adventurers, & think green!

Nope, I was not paid for this post but I was provided the product by the retailer free of cost for the purpose of review & product testing. Any opinions expressed are my own & follow the taste and spirit of Outdoorsy Mama completely. Cheers!

Namaste & Three Cheers! – OM

For more info, check out:


Welcome our new Outdoorsy Puppy! Heart Achingly Adorable. Fuzzy, Four-Footed Bundle of Energy & Love.

ready to tackle the trails! or take a snooze...

Oh, yes, we've been busy over the last few days. No, not climbing Mt Everest. But, rather, adopting a new, leetle pound-puppy.

Welcoming our fuzzy-headed, four-legged girl into our busy, fun, chaotic, active, loving, family life. 

After trying out a few names, her combo of traditional, outdoorsy, and adorableness-ness helped us find and finally stick her new name: Aspen Wiggle-Bottom the Third. (More on this later...)

Welcome, little Aspen Wiggle-Bottom, to our family! 

And get ready for some awesome family adventures as our new bloggy-doggie...

Namaste & Three Cheers! - OM


Getting Ready For SKI Season? Best Ski Resort 2014 Lists in East & West Are Out!

Diamond Peak in Lake Tahoe
Didn't make the list but the views are Extraordinary

Despite being surrounded by soccer-cleats and shin-guards and number 2 pencils and hormonal middle school newness, my heart is really, really looking past the tournaments and the halloween costumes and the carved pumpkins and even past Thanksgiving Dinner ---- towards the SKI SEASON ahead.


And how can it not what with the tantalizing lists that bombarded me on my social-media cruise this morning...... 

Just out, the "Best Ski Resorts Lists" for both the East and the West from Ski.com.

Best Ski Resorts in the West
5 Park City, UT (should be called "Snorkel City")
4 Sun Valley, ID (my first ski job ever - dominated Baldy)
3 Vail, CO (one word: BACK-BOWLS)
2 Deer Valley, UT (100% pampering 100% of the time)
1 Jackson Hole, WY (so steep, so cold, so gnarly)

Best Ski Resorts in the East
5 Holiday Valley, NY (never heard of it!)
4 Tremblant, Quebec (best crepes, too)
3 Jay Peak, VT (recent upgrades make this a happenin' place)
2 Sugarloaf, ME (have not yet been encrusted in ice there)
1 Smugglers Notch, VT (yes! have frozen my arse off there!)

However, in my heart of hearts, the #1 Ski Resort in the West will always be: Alta.

And in my heart of hearts, the #1 Ski Resort in the East will always be: Mad River Glen.

Steeps, deeps (sometimes at MRG), snorkels and stumps. 

Ski it!

Namaste & Three Cheers -OM 

If you want more about skiing, you need to read this:
Disaster & Joy & Weather Strike the Family Ski Trip
How to Prepare for your Family Ski Trip - Funny!


Today's Zen OM To Make Your Mind Smile - Inspirational Nature Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rodeo Beach Sunset, Marin County, California
Photo Credit - Annie Yearout

"The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship." 
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature


Heart-Pumping Excitement for Fans as New Zealand & USA Duke it Out Under the Golden Gate Bridge

What a day! 

Yesterday, we snuck away from daytime duties and zipped over the Golden Gate to join the throngs of folks waving Kiwi and USA flags at the massive space ships with sails -- the massive catamarans -- that flew by us at mach-Star-Wars speed back and forth on the Bay. 

I actually think i saw the Millennium Falcon do an illegal fly-by at one point along with all the helicopters whirring around.

At 1:15pm Race #1 started with USA trailing the Kiwis 0-4.

Nail biting commenced on a gorgeous San Francisco day....

Start of the Race! NZ in red, USA in black

Alcatraz fly by

Near miss! Oakland Hills in background

Racing back to the Golden Gate, Angel Island in background

Final pass by Golden Gate

NZ in the lead on homestretch (yachts, fans & helicopters)
Victory Kiwis!

Crowd going nuts at finish line!

Exhausted & Exhilarated crew of NZ 11 seconds post race #1

As luck, skill and a whole lot of Red Bull no doubt would have it yesterday, NZ pulled away even father to win both races.

Team USA has a mighty mountain to climb, sea to cross, bay to navigate. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Namaste & Three Cheers! -OM

For more info:


Best Soccer Water Bottle for Soccer Kids - No More Dehydrated Kids on the Field! Gear Review

Jug o' Water for when they need hydration NOW!

I have three kids, all full-steam into soccer this year. Each with two practices each week and one if not two games a weekend.... and sometimes a tournament. 

WE ARE DEEEEEEEP in Soccer-Palooza-Insanity around here.......

Which is why, this year, we've had to get serious, really serious, about hydrating our kids on the soccer field. No more teeny, little, twisty-off bottles or those tops that you have to arm-wrestle to get access to the water --- they need water, lots of it, and they need it NOW.

Enter my newest, favorite, practical, easy, inexpensive discovery.

The super basic, super practical Coleman Water Jug. 

The first size we got is a 1 Gallon size. It's little bigger than you need for one game so sometimes we only fill it half-way. Easy flip-top spout for the kids to drink from.

We loved it so much, we're getting the 1/2 gallon sizes as well, one for each kid. And the smaller size will be easier for the littler ones to cart around.

On a funny note, the jugs insulate so well, watch how much ice you put in. We gave our son brain-freeze by loading in lots of ice on a hot day. The water was so cold that when he went to drink it, he got popsicle-head instead of hydrated.... so now we do a moderate amount of ice, just enough to keep it cool and easy to drink during the game.

There has been no problem with spilling or the spout not working like I've read in a few other reviews...? That's only happened to us when the lid wasn't screwed on tight. But do your homework, check it out for yourself and keep the receipt. 

Where can you find these? The 1 gallon jug we found at the local mega-drugstore around the corner. The 1/2 gallon I poked around online to find a good deal on Amazon. Both ranged between $7-$12 each. A steal!

Your well-hydrated, soccer kids will thank you. And, you, "awesome-parent" you, just might get a little gold trophy at the end of the season, too...

Namaste & Three Cheers! -- OM

If you like this, you'll also enjoy:
The Best Water Bottles for All Ages 
The Joy of Soccer

For more details:
Coleman Jug 1/2 gallon


MOTHERHOOD PART TWO: The Importance of Family Dinner –Why it’s Vital for Family Togetherness Even Just Once a Week... Laugh out Loud.

Wrestling over who gets to blow out the candles
is a lovely weekly tradition.
Let’s face it, when the kids were little -- we have 3 kids within 3 years of each other -- “family dinner” was a concept for those other people who had it all together. You know, the neighbors down the street where the mom actually had her hair combed each day and didn’t constantly wear pants covered in baby vomit.

Ah, good times.

Luckily, today, our family has a little less baby vomit and a lot more hair combing. By which I mean that I have now stepped out of the fog-of-early-motherhood and can actually focus on bigger things like hair combing and the importance of Family Dinner.

Family Dinner finally came about when my youngest, my twins, stopped wiggling enough in second grade to be able to sit at the dining room table without falling out of the chair or, I kid you not, ending up with a foot up on top of the table while eating our spaghetti. 

Up until then, the “dining room table” in our family had been used as a glue-sticking-project-central location, a Thomas the Train village and track, and the very infrequent location for entertaining wide-eyed friends, if they dared enter the House of Chaos.

Using Napkins as beards at Family Dinner
is highly frowned upon...
I realized it was time to have a ritual, a routine, on Sunday evenings that my husband and I marked down as a recurring date in our Google family calendar “5:30pm: Family Dinner” to calm, reconnect, recalibrate each Sunday evening before the busyness of a the week of soccer carpooling, work travel and fifth grade math headaches ahead.

So we implemented it. Full steam ahead. Out came grandma’s china. Hey, not plastic! Out came the “good napkins." Hey, not the 8 year old ones with Bob the Builder on them! 

The kids help set the table. Fork on the left, knife on the right. Little teeny spoon on the top – which still to this day fascinates them to no end.

As we, mom and dad, cook, we ask for some help from the kids where they are able to without lopping off a digit, ie: no carrot chopping. Nothing fancy for the menu, but a complete, balanced meal, with an actual green item or two included.

When everything makes it onto the table hot and steaming and we’re all seated with: a) clothing on – naked is NOT an option; b) hands washed – schmeg from the day does not end up on “the good napkins”; c) legs forward, torso sort of forward – sitting side-saddle is for cowgals; and d) pinching, poking and food throwing is strictly forbidden for “the longest 20 minutes of their life”, our oldest son has earned the honor of lighting the candles and we hold hands around the table.

The ideal Family Dinner plate at grandma's house.
Which as you might imagine set-off the “kooties” “ewwww grosss” from the younger set the first few times so we had to resort to a “finger touch” at first, but now has become a normal, not-disgusting part of the evening.

“Whose turn is it to say grace?” we ask. (We are a family with little organized religion, so we bow to this one lovely way to connect with something greater.) Hands shoot up all around the table, everyone wants a say. So now we go around the table and each get a little something to contribute, usually centering around, “I’m grateful for the food and mom and dad and SORT OF for the annoying sibling across the table and I’m VERY grateful for cute, little puppies and kitties.”

Surprisingly and embarrassingly, one of our greatest challenges has been getting the kids to use the forks and knives and NOT their hands to eat their food. 

I seriously, even last night after having Family Dinner for a year now, was jaw-droppingly incredulous at their need to grab corn kernels with their fingers from the plate, toss them into their mouth, miss, dig around in their lap for the lost corn kernels, which are now squished into the back of the “good” dining room chair, finally dig the corn kernels out of the crack, and pop them back into their mouth with their fingers. And, 50% of the time, miss again.

What is this strange object and can we slurp directly from the spoon?
All etiquette breaching, nails-on-the-blackboard aside like: “No, honey, napkins are not for whirling over your head like we do at Giants’ games…” these once a week Family Dinners have become a touch-point for us. 

The kids “look forward” to the calm meal. They grumble less about clearing the table afterwards while we parents point like Royalty at the items still to be cleared by our short, little serfs. They settle and listen to the conversation about middle school PE stinking or having more taste-buds when you are a kid Which is why we don’t like spinach, Mom… very clever, these kids.

I can feel the shift.

I foresee Family Dinners with special girlfriends and boyfriends then spouses and the circle of wiggly grandkids way ahead. A central connection around a dinner table. 

But, note, clothing not optional.

Namaste & Three Cheers! – OM

If you liked this, you will also enjoy:


SUP Races for Oysters, Dipsea Runs & America's Cup Finals w/ Team Oracle vs. New Zealand - Bay Area Rock-Star Events!

Holy cow, everyone. There are SO many exciting events going on in the Bay Area over the next few weeks, I'm bursting to share some of the coolest with you!

Here are a few golden, Bay Area nuggets coming up soon....

Hog Island Huff Stand-Up Paddleboard Race, Tomales Bay, California - Saturday, Sept 14th
The gorgeous waters of Tomales Bay in West Marin host this 5 mile race through a network of channels and sandbars around Hog and Duck Islands. Giant incentive to cross the finish line? Fresh $1 raw and $2 BBQ oysters and lunch at Nick's Cove! Sooooo unique. So awesome. Family friendly.
Details here - Hog Island Huff SUP Race

Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer, Mill Valley, California - Saturday, September 7th
One of the Bay Area's most famous and renown hikes, The Dipsea Trail, is home to this zero breast cancer spirited fundraiser. 6 miles of redwood trees, ocean views, famous steps, and the occasional giant banana slug (look for them on the steps!) make this event not only one of the most extraordinary hikes you'll ever take, but also help kick cancer's butt.
Details here - Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer

America's Cup FINALS, San Francisco Bay, California - September 7-21st
The mighty defender Team Oracle takes on the Down Under, kiwi eating Team New Zealand in this jaw dropping display of technological brilliance with a "boat". (Are they really boats, or are they really some sort of space ships hovering over the water?) Come see for yourself and don't forget to put Band-Aids on the tips of your fingers as the nail-biting will commence immediately...
Details here - America's Cup Finals

Enjoy every spirited, heart-pumping moment!

Namaste & Three Cheers! - OM

If you liked this article, you might also like:
Night Out at the America's Cup Pavillion
A Stand-Up Paddleboard that Fits in a Backpack


6 Weeks of Jaw-Dropping, Awe-Inspiring, Adventure Sports Documentaries - MountainFilm Series 2013, Mill Valley, CA, Aug 28 - Oct 2

MountainFilm Series in Mill Valley, CA
Ok, folks. 

Fasten your seat-belts, harnesses, shoelaces, zip-ties, chin-straps... and grab your bag o' popcorn....

This one is MADE for adventurous folks like us!

The MountainFilm Film Series is rockin' the adrenaline at the Throckmorton Theater in downtown Mill Valley, California tonight and the rest of the Wednesday nights at 7:30pm on your calendar. 5 left...

Come see for yourself, grab an outdoorsy friend, and save me a seat!

Tonight, Wednesday, Sept 4th
Feature Film - Werner Herzog's The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (fearless ski-jumper)

Wednesday, Sept 11th
Feature Film - Stranded

Wednesday, Sept 18th
Feature Film - Wasteland (by Lucy Walker)

Wednesday, Sept 25
Feature Film - Fire on the Mountain

Wednesday, Oct 2nd
Feature Film - Eiger Santion

Each evening there will also be additional short films. Eager to see the short: Yosemite Falls High Line on Wed, Oct 2nd.

Namaste & Three Cheers! - OM

For more information and tickets:
MountainFilm at the Throckmorton