Top 5 Reasons to Get Your Girl Outside

Alpengirl 3As you know, I’m busy sunning myself on a beach getting K-Bear outside this week! Outdoor time is incredibly important to our family, whether it be snorkeling with the fish, digging in the sand, or hiking a mountain trail. I got my start at an early age, thanks to outdoor-loving parents.

Even better than the family hikes they dragged me on was the week-long canoe camp they sent me to each summer when I was 13 and 14 (insert shout-out to Alton Jones!). It was such a young, impressionable and often-times awkward age, but I remember vividly the power of the friendships I built, the freedom I felt, and the connection to nature I established. It was a mighty feeling to canoe all day and set up camp each night, all while learning how to pee in the woods, cook a meal for a team and wash dishes with minimal water. I came home each summer feeling like I could conquer anything!

So it is with happy memories that I feature this guest post by Lauren Caselli, a guide at Alpengirl Camp, an overnight, outdoor summer adventure camp for girls ages 11-17 in Montana, Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Norway. A Manhattan desk-jockey-turned-wilderness-junkie, she left her NYC apartment for the wide open valleys of Montana. After 22 years in the traditional education system, Lauren learned more about her passions, her values, and herself during 18 months of wilderness exploration than she ever did in the halls of her public school. An advocate of writing-as-self-discovery, she manages the Alpengirl blog. Continue reading

Happy New Year Giveaway: Upcycled Sari Bag

Sari Bag 1Happy new year, friends! As we all embark on a fresh start in 2013, I thought I’d start it off right with a giveaway! I can’t think of a better way to thank all of you for a wonderful 2012 then by offering you a chance to win one of my new favorite things!

This one-of-a-kind bag is handmade by craftspeople in India from recycled saris. The layers of silk and rayon come in a unique combination of colors and patterns, ranging from jewel tones to earth tones. The bag has an inner lining of lightweight white cotton with a large central compartment and a single side pocket. The clasp functions in two ways: there’s a button and loop fastener, and a fabric cord that can tie the bag closed for greater security.

I love this fun, colorful bag and I know you will too. And thanks to Uncommon Goods you can win one of your own! Uncommon Goods has a slew of unique and creative gift ideas for all kinds of folks. Click here for more ideas for the gals in your life! I especially love their selection of recycled items like these.

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me what your new year’s resolution is!  

For extra entries, you can also choose from any or all of the following. Be sure to leave an extra comment for each entry telling me you did so and what your corresponding Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook name is.

Details: The contest will run through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. The winner will receive a single Sari Bag shipped directly to them from Uncommon Goods. Due to the handmade and upcycled nature of these items, each bag will vary.
Neither I nor Uncommon Goods can guarantee all colors in photo will be incorporated into each bag.
I’ll choose one lucky person via random.org and notify him or her via email. You will have 48 hours to respond and claim your gift. If you don’t respond, I will choose another winner. Please note that although Uncommon Goods provided me a free Sari Bag, the opinions expressed here are mine alone.

I shared this post on Clever ChicksTiny Tip Tuesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Health 2day, Whole Food Wednesdays and Green Giveaways Galore

Share Your Diet/Fitness Ideas and #Win a Slow Cooker!

It’s no secret that I believe living a soulicious life involves nourishing your body. Staying active and eating well should be priorities in life, no?

SlimKicker is a healthy living/fitness app that turns healthy habits into 7-30 day challenges. This level-up, points-based game puts the emphasis on learning proper nutrition, portion control and other habits that participants can stick with for the long run.

Because the SlimKicker team realizes that fun and games aren’t enough, they also provide ongoing support with personalized advice, as well as tools such as calorie counter and fitness tracker. It’s a great way for folks to interact with experts and stay motivated while developing healthier, life-long habits.

For example, users can pledge to give up soda for a month or use their slow cooker once a week. We know all about the latter as we are (or are trying to be) Slow Cooker Savvy around here, right? Which brings me to…

The Giveaway

SlimKicker reached out to me looking for fresh ideas from YOU for fun, creative fitness  and diet challenges! To enter, leave a comment below for each idea that you have. Keep it simple; one-to-two sentences only. SlimKicker will choose the winner based on their favorite entry, use it on their site and send you a brand-new Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-Quart Slow Cooker. Hooray! Continue reading

Basil #Pesto: Quick to Make and Easy to Freeze

This time of year, my favorite crop to scoop up by the armful at farmer’s markets is fresh basil. I make a batch of pesto nearly every week, freezing it in portioned batches to enjoy all year-long. Come spring, as I use my last cube, I am sad only long enough to remember that in just a few months, the basil will be bursting forth again, beckoning me and my food processor to get whirling. Continue reading

Giveaway: Celebrate My Birthday with a Pair of Yoga Paws!

I love my Yoga Paws. Launched in 2003 by a mother/daughter team, Yoga Paws are non-slip yoga gloves worn on your hands and/or feet, a concept best described by their tagline: “The Yoga Mat You Wear.”

I came across them only recently and thought they were incredibly nifty. I contacted Yoga Paws, and Jaime, the daughter half of the Yoga Paws team, responded enthusiastically.

It’s clear that she has a passion for not only yoga and her product, but also for sharing good energy and positive thoughts. She quickly sent me a pair of Yoga Paws “Elite” in forest green, and I’ve been playing around with them ever since I got the go-ahead from my PT three months post-hip surgery.

One word: fun! Continue reading