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Monthly Archives: January 2013

How to make a recycled bike chain bracelet

The last time I gave handmade gifts to my friends for Christmas I was 11. I hand painted them all little wooden rabbits.

Twenty plus years later I decided it was high time I made another batch of handmade gifts. I first came up with this idea because I wanted to make something ‘bikeish’ for my much missed mountain biking buddy in Reno. After making a bracelet for her I loved it so much I made more. Who knew  you could make something so ascetically pleasing out of  an old bike chain and some utility cord.

Here are the supplies you will need: (more…)

Ten things to do in the snow in your backyard

Isn’t there some saying about drinking lemonade when life throws lemons at you? Frankly, it is so cold and snowy here, I don’t think there are any lemons to be found. We are instead stuck trying to make icees out of ice. Snowmen out of snow. Fun out of cold, and wet, and slightly uncomfortable. We are stuck trying to dream up things to do outside in the snow. And guess what? We’ve found some!!!

Introducing Ten Awesome Ways You May Not Have Thought Of To Entertain the Kids in the Backyard When There Are 15 Inches (0r even 2) of Snow On The Ground! (more…)

Is the Chariot Cougar worth the investment?

Claire sent me the following question (via ask outsidemom). I have a lot of thoughts on this, but would also love to hear from other Chariot owners who could offer some insight on her questions.

I’m thinking about buying a Chariot, primarily because I’d love to ski this winter and I’d like to be able to get some cycling in once my son is big enough. I’d love to hear some detailed reviews, tips, experiences from other women who use a Chariot too. I’d love to hear what skiing is like with it – hills, response to snow conditions, reaction of kiddos… And what using a bike trailer is like too – can you hear your kiddo, how does it handle with a road bike, tips for keeping kiddo safe and happy.

-Claire

A few weeks ago I had a Chaco shoe giveaway on my blog and asked people to enter by telling me: “What is the one outdoor baby/child item you wouldn’t want to live without.” The item that claimed the first prize? The Chariot.

First of all I just have to say that we own the Cougar 2, and own the bike trailer kit, the jogging kit, the infant sling, baby supporter and we made our own skis. We currently have 3 kids ages 6, 3, and 7 months. Here are my thoughts on the Chariot: (more…)

Tips for helping kids track animals in the snow

There is an added bonus to walking in the winter that you might not think of at first–the animals that use that same trail as you every day are no longer invisible.  They leave undeniable proof of their presence.

On a winter walk once, my kids and I found a set of dog-like tracks and followed them.  They meandered into a clearing, and there we found a mess of bird tracks, some wing marks in the snow, lots more dog tracks… and a dead magpie torn to pieces  We tried to piece together a couple different theories that could explain what could have happened based on just the tracks.  And we left with a few good stories.

Not only is tracking fun, but it gets you outdoors in the winter, when finding things to do outside with your kids can be a daunting task. Even if you never get around to actually identifying any of the tracks, just knowing that you’ve come across the path of a wild creature is pretty thrilling.

It’s bonafide detective work, and what kids isn’t going to love that? (more…)

5 recipes for turning fresh snow into an icy treat

I didn’t’ grow up in a place where it snowed, but luckily my Grandparents lived in an icy wonderland. Every winter we’d make the trek to their house at least once, tie plastic bags around our feet and head out into the snow. Every trip was accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate and a ‘snow cone’. I remember the snow cones being this amazing delicacy that only my Grandma could make.

A few years ago I asked her for her secret recipe. Her reply: 1 heap of snow and a handfull of sugar. That’s it? I tried it one year. It wasn’t as delectable as it had been to my childhood self.

So I came up with a few of my own recipes. I make these à la carte style. I have a big bowl of snow and all the toppings lined up and let my kids pick out whatever they want me to mix in. (more…)

Helping kids with the science fair: One woman’s story

My next door neighbor is my best friend in town.  We meet up several times a week for popsicles, hot chocolate, or chit chat about what’s been going on in our lives.  His name is Elias and he’s 11.

Did I mention I don’t get out much?

It doesn’t matter, he’s as entertaining as any adult, and full of jokes and wild ideas.  You should hear his plans for the shed in his back yard… it involves a two-story swimming pool, a fire pit, and tiles made out of natural sandstone.  He’s a whiz at doing math in his head (but not questions about time).  He loves electronics, making up stories, and mapping out routes in his head.  Elias has Asperger’s Syndrome.

I won’t even pretend to know what this means from Elias’ point of view, or what it’s like to be his mother.  He and I have a different sort of relationship… but I do know this: he struggles in school and gets picked on a lot.  So much so that he now hates school.  I don’t have to pretend that this makes me sad. (more…)

Combating cold symptoms while pregnant: Safe natural Remedies

About a week ago I came down with a terrible case of bronchitis.  Every pregnant lady I know tells me that you get sicker when you’re pregnant.  I concur.  I haven’t been that miserable in a decade, at least.  What’s worse is all the cold medicines you’ve been saving since your last bout with a cold are useless.  Robitussin?  According to the FDA:  pregnant women should only take it if the benefits outweigh the risks… and by the way we have no idea what the risks are.  Tylenol?  Sure.  In small doses and do not under any circumstances exceed the maximum dose.  Which means if your fever starts coming back around hour 3.5, you are just going to have to suffer until hour six to eight before you can get some relief again.  Nyquil?  No.  Sorry.

Sigh.

As I lay in misery on the couch, wrapped in ten blankets and wheezing, I researched home remedies (and called my mother)–natural ways to combat the cold symptoms that were leaving me in agony.  Here’s what I came up with… what’s your favorite natural remedy? (more…)

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    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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