Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Muses | Our Weekend | Valdez Snowfest

This weekend was my favorite of 2014 so far! We made a decision about a week ago to make the trip to Valdez for Snowfest 2014. Our decision was based on 2 things, the first being that Nikoli could race in the 120 events on Saturday & the second being that we really needed to get away for a weekend as a family & just enjoy some final Alaskan winter moments. 
I'm so happy that we made the trip down to Valdez for Snowfest. We are already planning for our trip next year, until then we have some pictures & memories to hold us over. 

We started our trip on Friday & on trend with our usual travel routine we left later than planned. This time it was due to the 120 having an issue with a snap ring. Luckily Justin was able to get it fixed & we were finally on our way around 3PM, only 4 hours later than we had initially planned.

I snapped this picture of the kids about 2.5 seconds before we loaded up & pulled out of the driveway. All of their outfits are from FabKids(Link) & I just love them! Lilliana's cardigan is from Target & Nikoli's vest is a thrift store find & it's a Ralph Lauren Polo down vest. The girls sunglasses are from Fred Meyer & Nikoli's are an old pair of Justin's safety glasses that he just loves & has to wear everyday. The girls boots are from Payless & I got Nikoli's sneakers from Hautelook. Whoo! Outfit-of-the-day breakdown! 

For those of you who are curious this was the route we took from our house in Wasilla to Valdez. Google maps says the trip should take 5.5 hours but it took us about 4.5 including a couple bathroom/fuel stops along the way. It was a gorgeous drive & I wish we had planned time to stop & take some pictures of the views along the way. But with the late start & a sign-up party to attend at the Boardroom once we got to Valdez we just didn't have extra time for photos. Next time we will, promise!

Now I didn't take any pictures of our hotel room or Valdez in general. I was just focused on Snowfest & making sure the kids were having the best time Saturday. Some of the random detail photos sort of slipped let's just jump together from Friday evening to Saturday morning around 10:30AM when we made our way to the Snowfest site.
For those of you who might be planning to visit Valdez sometime in the future, we stayed at the Mountain Sky View hotel & it was perfectly nice for our weekend. Nothing snazzy, just a basic hotel without all the bells & whistles which was just what we needed.

These 3 are my heart you guys. Seriously how adorable do they all look geared up for Snowfest?! I have to say...the girls winter gear is adorable this year but it really is crap. They were soaked through by 2PM & I'm already on the hunt for some kids winter gear that will hold up all day without getting soaking wet from snow.
Their boots & mittens were amazing but their snow pants & coats will need to be replaced by next season if we want them to stay dry all day. :)

This is what the girls were up to on Saturday. Hanging out on the Nytro, watching their brother & friends race, eating snow (it was Snowfest after all!) & of course posing for lots of pictures throughout the day. They loved having so many other kids to run around & play with & they were totally fascinated by all of the freestyle riders. Every time someone did a trick they recognized from one of the many, many snow machine videos in our collection they jumped up & down & cheered. I'm pretty thrilled we got our kids hooked on everything snow machining when they were little because it makes taking them to these events so much more amazing!

Nikoli spent the day racing & riding around on the 120. The kid was glued to that thing from when we unloaded it until 7PM Saturday evening when we finally loaded it back on the trailer for the night.  I'm so extremely proud of this little guy. We threw him on a 120 in the middle of this years racing season & I honestly had no idea what to expect. Jump forward about 10 weeks & a dozen races later & he has become a much smarter & skilled rider. Not only does he love competing in the races, he is ADDICTED to riding snow machines. Justin & I are planning to put a track in on our property this summer so that all the kids have a place to ride as often as they want (and the snow permits) next winter.
Watching Nikoli race on Saturday I was almost in tears. He had his 2 best heats of the entire season finishing in 1st & 2nd place. It was his first time ever competing on a sno-x track & he did so freakin well! During the main heat he chose a couple of bad routes & ended up finishing in 5th, right in the middle of the pack. Still he was so thrilled with his racing that day & spent the next 2 days asking us when his next sno-x event was. Unfortunately the racing season is winding down & we are going to have to watch hours of riding videos to hold him over until next season.

Aside from watching all of the kids race & hanging out with our little family, the freestyle competition/shows were my favorite part of the day. Watching the kids reactions was so much fun & now all 3 of our kids want to be freestyle riders when they grow up. Totally fine with Justin & I! Haha!

Wings Over Valdez performed during a break in-between the 120 race heats & it was a really fun & fantastic element to the day. Wings Over Valdez is a group of local Speedrider, paraglider, & wing suit pilots. Lilliana kept asking me if we could go skydiving during their performance. I told her yes...although I'm pretty sure we have to wait until she's 18.

Here are some more pictures from our weekend at Valdez Snowfest...

 Mountain house meals for the win!

The girls tried all day to tackle Justin & they threw so many snowballs at him I lost count. These kids just love their daddy so much it has a tendency to turn me into a sappy-mommy who is gushing over the amazing man she chose to spend her life with & the great kids that have stolen my heart again & again.

We had a blast at Valdez Snowfest! The event had such an amazing vibe & we can't wait to go back next year. If you missed it this year be sure to like the Alaska-State Sno-X Lions Club on Facebook for info for next years event as well as upcoming events for this year. (Link)
I just have to thank the Alaska-State Snow-X Lions Club for putting Valdez Snowfest together & MadHatter(Link) for their totally awesome bags the 120 racers were given. Spy Goggles (available from MadHatter) also donated a brand new pair of goggles to each 120 rider before the event. Nikoli picked the Zombie goggles & he wore them all day & even asked me if he could wear them to school this morning. :)

If you are looking to get your kid involved with riding please reach out to the Alaska-State Sno-x Lions Club or leave me a comment below. I would love to share our experiences with anyone & it really is an amazing sport to be involved in. I have so much love, appreciation & more love for all of the people who made all of the 120 events possible this year. Our family has had so much fun & grown closer because of them. We are seriously planning our trip/race schedule for next year already! I know winter is just coming to an end, but I'm ready for it to be snowing again!

To wrap up this post here are a couple of videos I posted to my instagram over the weekend. You can find me on instagram @alaskalove12. :)

Our Sunday AM Bedhead Crew. They had extra rosy cheeks that morning due to me forgetting sunblock..DUH! Aren't they so adorable 30 seconds after they wake up...much cuter than I am that's for sure! 

alaska love,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Whimseybox|DIY Soft Hands Scrub & Lotion Set

Whimseybox is a monthly craft subscription that has been on my must-try list for months. I had the chance to try out a box curtesy of Whimseybox & I have to say that I'm totally hooked! From the adorable packaging to the detailed photo-instructions the entire experience was one I would like to do again & again, with a different craft each time of course. 
I received the DIY Soft Hands Scrub & Lotion Set. I'm going to break down what was in the box & how easy it was to create a set of amazing hand-care sets in under an hour last night. 

The packaging is just so sweet & adorable. From the cute peach ribbon & the macaroon art work by Diana Evans(Link), I just loved it! 

Unfortunately my Whimseybox had a couple minor spills while in transit to me. Nothing was really ruined & there was plenty of product to complete each project. The worst is shown here & in the photo above, just a rather-large but totally manageable almond oil & honey spill. :) 

Each individual supply was well packaged & it was easy to tell what each item was using the little photo-info-card that Whimseybox included. I set everything out & realized there was one thing missing...

Just a glass or small box of wine. The kids were all asleep in bed, Justin was working on some stuff on the computer & I decided to make this craft session a mini-me-time session as well. It was so nice drinking a chilled box of wine (hehe!) & doing a DIY project without any interruptions. 

Now back to the DIY-ing. :) Whimseybox included this very detailed, photo-info card, & they mentioned having some more detailed instructions & videos online, but I didn't find that I needed them to complete either project. 

Out of the supplies shown above these were the ones needed for the Lemon Honey Hand Scrub. Sugar, honey, half of the almond oil & 15 drops of the lemon essential oil. The next couple of images show what the almond oil, honey & essential oil look like mixed together. 
After I added the sugar my Lemon Honey Hand Scrub was complete. I filled out the label & put the lid on my little jar of hand scrub & began to work on the Lemon Honey Hand Creme. The scrub was so easy to do & I'm obsessed with how good the lemon & honey smell together! 

I totally didn't snap a picture of the supplies needed for the Lemon Honey Hand Creme. Whimseybox included beeswax pastilles, shea butter, coconut oil, honey, sweet almond oil, & lemon essential oil to create the lovely hand lotion. I used a spoon, small spatula, & mason jar/small pot for a double boiler set up from home to complete the project. 

I added the beeswax pastilles to a mason jar & then set the entire jar into a small pot of simmering water. The melting process of the beeswax was the longest of the entire process. I think it took about 15 minutes for it to be completely melted. Then it was time to add everything else...

I followed the instructions set by Whimseybox. I added the shea butter, followed by the coconut oil, honey & sweet almond oil. 

I poured the entire mixture back into the jar Whimseybox provided & then added 15 drops of the Lemon Essential Oil. That little bottle is still half full after completing both projects! Whimseybox does mention that you can add more essential oil to either product if you prefer a stronger scent. 

This was my hand creme about 20 minutes after I put it in the fridge & gave it a stir. I ended up leaving it in the fridge overnight to chill & then whipped it with my kitchen aid this morning while making the kids breakfast. I have it chilling again & will probably go through the chill/whip process about 2-3 more times to get it to the perfect consistency. :) All in all I LOVED these DIY creations & look forward to trying out another Whimseybox again soon.

Whimseybox Subsciptions start at $15 monthly with options to purchase 3 or 6 month subscriptions as well as an annual one. If you are interested in trying out Whimseybox for yourself or gifting it to someone who loves a good DIY-time I will include a link below for you to click & subscribe with.

Snazzy Linky-Link...HERE!

alaska love,

***Whimseybox sent me this box to review but any thoughts, randomness or extras expressed within this post are totally rad & totally my own. The link above is a referral link. :) ****

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our Wedding Inspirations. From Pinterest to Reality.

Not all too long ago I was deep in the process of planning our wedding. From Pinterest to wedding magazines I was collecting so many ideas that it got to the point where I didn't even know what I liked, loved or just didn't care for. Eventually I was able to get it together & found my true inspirations & on August 4th, 2012 it all came together & it was certainly our version of perfect. 

Now, if you are wondering where this random wedding post is coming from...we recently purchased a new desktop computer & over the last couple of days Justin was able to transfer our iPhoto library & in the thousands of photos was my Wedding Inspirations album. Before deleting it altogether I thought it would be fun to show all of you some of the things that I found inspiring & was able to incorporate into our wedding day. 

None of these photos are my own & I have no idea where any of the "inspiration" images came from. All of the pictures from our wedding were taken by the lovely Katie of Love, Katie Photography. (Link) If you are getting married in Wisconsin or the general midwestern area check out Katie! She is phenomenal! 

***I will link all of our wedding vendors at the end of this post.***

Inspiration #1. BARNS!

 I do not even know how it happened, but once we made our plan to for sure have our wedding in Wisconsin (we were torn on WI or AK for almost a year), Justin & I both became obsessed with the idea of having our wedding in a barn. Luck must of been on our side because I found the Cedar Hill Barn in Markesan WI, online while working in the middle-of-nowhere-Alaska. After a couple phone calls & many emails we booked the venue for our August 2012 date.

Cedar Hill Barn on our wedding day! For more images of the barn itself go to the Cedar Hill Farm site. 

Inspiration #2 Bridesmaids Shoes & Flowers

I went back & forth on the idea of my 7 wonderful bridesmaids each wearing a different colored dress or doing 7 dresses in the same color but different shades forever! Finally when we were at Bella Bridesmaids in Milwaukee an idea came together....all of the girls would wear Two Birds dresses in Navy & they would have the choice between the short or long dress. When it came to shoes, hair, & make-up I wanted the girls to be able to choose what they loved in whatever color, shades, & style they wanted....

7 lovely bridesmaids. 7 different shades of shoes! Our wedding colors were peach & navy, but each bridesmaid had a different color/style of shoe & their bouquets of hydrangeas were painted/dyed to match.  

Here I am with all of the bridesmaids & you can see how gorgeous they all looked! I love how well their dresses, shoes & flowers all came together. Although it was pretty crazy trying to figure out how to tie some of the styles of dresses. Two Birds dresses can be tied 15 different ways so each of them was able to pick which style they liked best. :) 

Inspiration #3 Romantic Entrance 

This was probably my favorite inspiration picture. I think I looked at it over 100 times. I loved the romantic feel of the outdoor ceremony & the little details that were incorporated. By having guests walk through that doorway to wait for the ceremony to begin it was as if they were being taken somewhere magical. 

My grandparents made those beautiful doors for our ceremony. Unfortunately there was a random thunderstorm about an hour before our wedding was set to start & due to the timing restrictions for the reception & dinner, we had to move the ceremony into the pole barn as everything was already set up for the reception/dinner in the main barn. I was a total wreck you guys, all we wanted was an outdoor ceremony & within moments it was just not possible. Everytime I see this picture I get a bit upset still, there were so many details here that just weren't possible in the pole barn. But at the end of the day our ceremony was beautiful & about 2 minutes after we said I-do the sun was shinning. We should of just held the ceremony off for 15 more minutes! LOL! But with mother nature there is no way to know for certain what will happen. 

Inspiration #4 CAKE

For as long as I can remember I wanted an armadillo cake, just like the one from Steel Magnolias at my wedding. Now, in the movie it is the grooms cake & it is not well received. At our wedding it was front & center & we loved it! 

Our armadillo wedding cake. Not only did it look just like an armadillo, it tasted delicious! 

To offset the silliness of the armadillo cake we also had 2 different types of cupcakes. Complete with flying pigs of course.

Inspiration #5 Our Theme
When we were planning our wedding a lot of people/magazines/blogs suggested we have an actual theme for our wedding. At first I had no idea where to even begin. Then I remember always saying to everyone I knew..."I will get married when pigs fly!" Since I was obviously about to get married I thought it would be so funny to have that as a theme. It fit in with the barn & I knew we could make it something to remember. Imagine our surprise a year later when we walked into the Cedar Hill Farm for the first time & there was a framed print of a flying pig! Oh yeah, did I mention we booked our wedding venue without ever setting foot on the property??? 

Inspiration #6 Decor

Before we had even decided to get married in a barn we loved the decor that was very rustic. From wooden tables to wild flowers it was our favorite inspiration. Now, for me I was all about the details but for Justin I would just hold up or show him 2 very different weddings & ask him to pick which one he liked best. From ballrooms to beaches, the rustic outdoor wedding always won him over. Luckily, getting married at barn in the heart of the midwest it all came together.

I just adore all of the little rustic details from our wedding. There are so many elements that our friends & family worked so hard to make happen, I just can't even thank them enough & I loved each one of them so much! 

Inspiration #7 My Bouquet

Now, my all time favorite flower is peonies. Since our wedding was happening in the summer it wasn't really possible to have peonies. But I knew I wanted a big, overstated bouquet like the ones shown here. I loved the mixture of colors & how simple but gorgeous these bouquets were.

I just loved that bouquet! I wish we had done something to preserve it or at least some of the petals. But we had to leave WI to drive back to AK, 2 days after our wedding. We were only able to take some of our stuff from the wedding back with us. :( 

There are some of inspirations behind our wedding! I have about a dozen more but I figured I would keep this post kind of short so that you can go on with your lives. ;) If you ever want details on our food, my dress, what the kids were up-to that day or anything else, just leave me a comment! Also, all of these images were just screen the quality might not be the best. I just couldn't find the disc with our actual pictures on it. :( 

Our Wedding Vendors:
Peach & Navy Flying Pigs:
Misc. Decor: 

alaska love, sadie

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Muses #9

Monday. Monday! 

I'm already looking forward to the weekend. More on that at the end of today's Muses. Doesn't having something to look forward to at the end of the week make the start of another Monday seem a bit easier? I know when I woke up this morning I was entirely in my Monday-moody-blues, I was actually happily awake. I think my family thought I had lost my mind. Lilliana even said to me, "Mommy you're never like this in the morning..." Well, I won't comment on where her lack of verbal filter came from...hehe! Anyway, it's Monday & because Wednesday could very well be the new Monday for me this week, here are some muses to get you through the beginnings of another week! 

Blueberry Breakfast Quesadillas! We are nearing the end of the school year & I'm running low on breakfast ideas. We have eaten so many bowls of oatmeal & a few too many pancakes. This morning this little gem appeared on my Pinterest feed & I don't know how I haven't thought of this on my own. We have done breakfast quesadillas before but these seem so yummy! I will have to see what I can come up with as we have about 4 bricks of cream cheese right now. This particular recipe calls for the Laughing Cow Cinnamon spread but I think it is pretty versatile. I will let you know what I come up with, until then you can check out the Daydream Recipe. (Link)

Okay, I'm loving the food posts this morning! Probably because I haven't had breakfast yet...but since we are going on a little road-trip this weekend I'm looking for things I can make ahead & pack for when we are in the hotel. I LOVE carmelitas. They might be my absolute favorite treat, with the chocolate, carmel combo I'm basically addicted. I have the ingredients for these on my grocery list already! (Link)

I have begun to plan for some spring/summer DIY projects & on the top of my list is painting furniture. I'm going to start with our dining room table & chairs as I already spilled some beautiful Malted Mint paint on a chair when I was painting the room itself. I want to do the furniture with a distressed-rustic look & I plan to paint the entire set white. This how-to guide by Bless This Mess, Please is one of the most informative & helpful one I have read so far. (Link)

A Frozen Birthday Party? Yes, please! Even though the kids have summer birthday's I know a Frozen theme will be high on their lists. Last year we did a Hello Kitty-Mario Brothers combo for the twins, & a Despicable Me them for Danielle. This year I need to be on my party-game since the twins have friends they are inviting from school & it will be their first official party that won't be only family in attendance. This Frozen Party makes me want to make an ice cream cake & bust out our holiday lights right now, even though I just put them away last week. (Link)

Now here is what has me in such a good mood this morning. We are leaving on Friday to head to Valdez for Snowfest! Nikoli will be racing in the 120 events & we will be going to as many of the other competitions. We just the plan to go on Saturday when we were at the AMMC Drag Racing & luckily we were able to find a hotel room in Valdez & made the rest of the plans from there. If you are looking to take a road-trip in Alaska head to Snowfest! We have never been to Valdez so I'm really, really, really excited! 

Just a quote to remember this week....

love from alaska,