Blooming Pussy Willow

Yes, pussy Willow. It is the first tree that begins blooming in Alaska in the spring. So right now, it is pussy willow season!!! That means the rest of the trees will be getting buds soon. The snow seems like it’s melting so so fast! Here is a photo a mere 3 months apart. Not the same shot, but does it really need to be? You can see the difference!

While everything is thawing it looks a little brown and gross out. But those buds start blooming and it turns green faster than you could imagine. It literally happens overnight. Sometimes during the day! Drive to work, no green. Drive home, green everywhere! It’s so weird. This is what I saw today when I opened the back door at work. Yes!!! So exciting. 

I’ll have to give you a one week update of how things have changed… Everything is buddin’ and it’s beautiful! What is spring like where you’re from? I’d love to hear what spring is like in your home, so comment below a little about it! 

The Wild Wild North

We do some wild and crazy sh*t here in Alaska.. For starters, when I was young a close family friend of ours who owns a wildlife conversation center allowed my sister and I to help with the animals. We got to help with the animals that were part of the center, as well as animals that were kept behind the scenes. They lived behind the scenes, they had chickens that we would go pick fresh eggs from. They would keep some of the animals back there that weren’t quite ready to be out for all to see. I remember when they got in a caribou and she had a baby, they kept her separate behind the scenes for s while. But, we got to go and visit them. Once they brought in an orphaned moose calf, which was still drinking milk but sidnt have a mama, so they were required to bottle feed them. I was able to help bottle feed the calf with the staff. To this day that is one of my all-time favorite childhood memories. That place will always hold a special place in my heart, I can’t wait to take my kids there one day.

Here is a fun video! I have a security system and was lying in bed, my motion detector was going crazy at about 6 am on a Saturday and I woke up, a little freaked out I just laid there awake and waited. After it finally stopped I got up to go check it out. I looked at my recorded videos, and found this. It was too cute!! ​​



Another amazing thing I was lucky enough to see was when driving with my husband to his parents house. There is a large swamp on the road near their house, one day heading to their house we crested the hill in the road coming towards that swamp and saw a moose standing there. As we got closer we realized that she wasn’t alone, there were two newborn calves at her feet. Yes, newborn! They were just born, still wet lying on the ground and mama moose was licking them off. We stopped, sat there and watched them. We sat there for about 15 minutes and then one of them decided to try and stand. His little legs wobbled back and forth but he didn’t fall! We watched them for what seemed like forever, just amazed and what we were actually seeing. They both took their first steps right in front of us! They weren’t the most graceful little ones, but it was an amazing thing to witness. These two twins and their momma spent the entire summer around his parents house. One night we stayed over and in the middle of the night kept hearing one of the wind chimes ringing really loudly off and on. This wind chime was hanging from an apple tree planted in the yard, which is where the sound seemed to be coming from. I woke up my husband, scared, because I have the worst case scenario most ridiculous possibility running through my head and I think there is some creepy man standing in the yard just ringing the chime. So, he gets up, looks out the window and starts laughing and tells me to come look. I get up, go look out the window and see the momma moose and her twins in the yard. The little boy is running around bucking like a little bronco, then runs over to the tree, slows down just before and nudges the chime with his nose and run off bucking and rearing again. Then he would run over to his sister and slam right into her side with his head and flip her over top of him, or knock her over and then go back and do it all again. It was absolutely adorable and hilarious to watch! I am so glad that we woke up to it and were able to see it. Definitely another golden memory. Look at these cute little twin baby moose butts! One other crazy Alaskan animal related story is our domesticated sled dogs. I’m sure you have heard of the Iditarod, well it is in fact real. We have a lot of sled dogs nearby, and people who have dog lots and teams that they run regularly. Especially in the area that I live, we have a higher number of dog teams around here. So, as it gets closer to winter people will actually hook their dog teams up to their four wheeler and have them pull that on the trails for practice until they get snow to hook up their sleds. It is always entertaining to me to see a team go by. It never gets old! Here is a team we saw when we were out hitting the trails in our Polaris RZR! Next year I’ll have to attend the Iditarod restart and get some photos to share. That is a pretty neat event to attend, such an incredible race and amazingly talented animals. 

Wasilla to Vegas >>

We just spent 5 days in Vegas.                       It was excellent!! Except…. There’s always something, right? Well, I got sick the day we arrived. And I was sick, for two and half days! After I got over my sickness on day three, but husband ended up sick. Thankfully he felt good the next day so we were able to enjoy our last day as normal healthy human beings. Which was nice! Even though we were sick, we will made the best of the trip though.

Day one, napping and lounging at the pool to try and get over whatever bug was attaching me. And here is my typical girl picture, only difference is its Vegas so there is no sandy beach between my toes. 

So this was my third time traveling to Vegas, we went with a few family members to celebrate my cousin turning 21! So, we did a limo strip tour. (The Las Vegas strip, not stripper in a limo. Although that could be a million dollar idea…. patent please!). Anyways, we took the tour which brought us to all the hot spots without us having to walk, excellent for someone who just wants to sleep but doesn’t want to miss out so they go anyways. We went to the mirage volcano, bellagio fountains and garden, Fremont street and Las Vegas sign. ​​

​The fountain show was probably my most favorite one that I’ve seen thus far, and the garden was incredible. Just the extent of detail and placement of the flowers. It was like a fairy tale. It was just amazing. Here are two gorgeous flower butterflies we saw. 

We really crammed a lot of activities into our 5 days, I don’t think we over did it by any means. It was a good amount of things to do. We went to the Shelby museum, pretty beautiful cars in there. My husband and I were too cheap to get s room with a mini-fridge in it (not by choice, just didn’t realize I guess) so… We need cold booze. We filled our sink with ice and called it good! 

I have an extremely huge fear of sharks. I’ve never even seen one in person before, I haven’t seen any shark movies that really shook me up but for some reason they just terrify me. So, naturally we went to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. They had some pretty interesting critters in there. And yes, I saw the Sharks. I was a little uncomfortable to say the least, but now I’ve seen a shark! ​and yes it was scary… I would never swim with sharks. 

After a bit more pool time we took off down the strip and went to the avengers station, mostly for the guys but, I enjoyed it too! Ironman is my man! The hubby and I split off from everyone else and went to the Secret garden at the Mirage. We got there just in time for the Dolphins to be fed and go to watch them do some pretty cool stuff! We of course also went into the garden and saw the lions and tigers and leopards, oh my! (Bet you didn’t see that one coming!) such beautiful and amazing animals they are. Our last night there we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, watched 3 fountain shows and dos the high roller. Overall, very very successful trip! Next time, I better not get sick…. 

Speaking of next time. That will be at the end of September. Cause we are going to the route 91 harvest festival baby!!!! If you don’t know what it is, and you love country music, check it out. Maybe we will see you there! 😉

Down By The Bay

Settlers Bay; beautiful view near my home. Yes, this is a bay. No, that is not land between me and the mountains, that is the bay and it is currently covered in ice chunks. As the current moves the water underneath, and as the tide comes in and out the ice breaks into chunks and appears like this. It is a pretty incredible sight to see. If you’re out there listening you can hear the chunks smash together as the water tosses them around. It’s amazing! We enjoy going up and watching and listening. 

Speaking of down by the bay, does anyone remember that children’s song? “Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow, back to my home, I dare not go!” I can’t get it out of my head now! What a strange song though… It makes no sense whatsoever. Fun to sing and catchy though! 

So, back to the bay. As spring progresses the ice while obviously melt. So I will have to make another trip or two out there to show you guys how the melt is coming along 😉 . It feels like it was the middle of winter just yesterday, but it also feels like summer is going to be over tomorrow. Why does time fly so fast? I didn’t believe them when they told me it goes faster the older you get. It really really does!! So if you’re reading this, and you’re under the age of 25. Do it! Like Shia LaBeouf says, “just, do it!!”! And what do I mean by it? Anything, whatever it is, please do it. Call your parents, go visit them, book that trip to Mexico, Europe or even Alaska! Pay the ridiculous price for the concert ticket you want to go see. Try something new, take an art or cooking class. Just please, try all the things! Because if you dont, you’ll regret it. And you won’t just regret it when you’re 70, you’ll regret it when you’re 25 and ready to have kids, but still have so many things you want to do…. It’s a crazy, busy, amazing world out there! Make the best of it. So get out there and go look at your bay! And I don’t mean bae. Although, if you’re is nice to look at like mine is, do that too! 


Where did you go spring?

So let’s start with about two weeks ago, the hubby and I went with some friends out to one of our friends family cabins. We loaded up the snow machines and drove about 2 hours north, then had to ride the machines out to the cabin. The riding was pretty decent, just the right temperature to go for a ride, only downfall was it had been pretty windy so the snow was very wind blown, making for a rougher ride. We had come to terms with the fact this was our last ride of the season, since my husband would be going back to work for two weeks and not home until April. So yesterday Mother Nature decided to hit us with a curveball! It decided to start snowing, no big deal, it wasn’t too much snow. All the fresh stuff melted off by the end of the work day. Well, to my surprise when I woke up this morning there was about 3 fresh inches of heavy wet snow. I of course, didn’t give myself enough time to get the truck all wiped off and to work on time, since I thought we were done with snow! I hurried as fast as I could, on my drive to work heard on the radio “expect snow for the next two days”. Oh no! But, I guess this means we do get to go riding again!! The temp warmed up, and by the end of the day most of the snow was melted off again. The photo on the left is at 9am on my way to work, and at 5pm on my way home on the right. Does this make sense to you?! 

When this happens it makes it hard to believe that it was the same day.. I’m okay with it though, if it allows us to get one more spring ride in! Fingers crossed it will last until the hubby gets home.. But it is about that time to start preparing myself for summer. The next step, planting my flower starters for my flower bed. That will be a fun one to share, so keep watching! They are getting planted this weekend, so I’ll have updates before we know it. I am welcoming you with open arms summer! But let’s let spring have her moment for now. Which means, goodbye winter!

Springing into Summer

Summer summer summer!!! I can smell it in the air. I’m not sure what it’s like in other parts of the world but here in Alaska we can smell the seasons in the air. Now the summer is coming, we can start to tell a change in the way the air smells. Strange, I know but also really neat. And it is a very noticeable change! Same thing when winter is upon us. I am so ready for our long summer nights! It has been a pretty great winter, we got quite a bit of riding (snowmachining) in this year. Now it is time for riding our Polaris RZR, hunting, fishing and camping. Those will be fun pictures to share. But for now, break up. Break up is no Bueno! Nobody enjoys this time of year. The snow is melting, the trees are brown, there is mud and puddles everywhere and now I have to clean up dog poop that is starting to appear from under the snow…. Does anyone want to come scoop the poop for me? Haha! One big plus, spring snowmachining! Spring riding is nice because it’s so warm out, this last week we got with some friends and went up a nearby mountain called Hatcher Pass. 

It as a beautiful blue bird day up there. We rode over the top of the mountain to the restaraunt on the other side, had lunch and some beer and rode back. Of course we had some beer in our backpacks also, gotta have our beer breaks! You will love he pictures from our summer riding beer breaks, so stay tuned!

Winter Wow

So I have lived here in Alaska my whole life, I am 24 years old so that is 24 winters I have spent here. Granted, I don’t remember the first few but boy do I have some great winter memories as a child. 

Now, with all this global warming stuff going on our winters have slowly gotten worse and worse. And by worse for an Alaskan I mean warm and no snow.. Or in a lot of cases not quite cold enough to snow but those clouds were dumping so therefore we get… Freezing rain. Ew! Nobody likes that. It has been about 4 years since our last “good” snowfall. The last we had still wasn’t that great, we got one big dump and then nothing. My husband and I have snow machines and haven’t got much use out of those bad boys the last few years. But hallelujah we finally got snow! Would you just look at it?! This is our back porch, half shoveled. It was up to my husbands knees. 

As a matter of fact, we were able to pull out snow machines right out of our garage and go ride the trails and swamps near the house! We are about 15 miles out of the nearest town, so we have lots of area to play. 
The largest town/city in the state is called Anchorage, we are about 45-60 minutes away from there depending on the weather. One recent afternoon we “drove into town”, which just means Anchorage. We went to Costco and to a hockey game for our hometown Alaska Aces, part of the ECHL. The drive was absolutely breathtaking. There were huge snow clouds rolling over the mountain ahead of us that we’re creating a dark sky and then there was a beautiful pink sunset lighting up the blue sky that was still showing. I got this amazing shot. I know it’s uncommon to get a photo of something and it to do what you were actually seeing justice, but this does it justice! This is exactly what it looked like. Look at the angle the light is creating on the side of the mountain! I mean, wow. And now spring is almost upon us!! I cannot wait for our beautiful summer days and sharing that with you! We still have a bit more winter ahead though 

New Year-New Groove

The start of 2017.. 

Can you even believe it? I know I have a hard time.. Well this year brings a lot of excitement. It is the beginning of my first full year of marriage, so many friends around me are starting their own little families or getting married, my husband and I want to get a new puppy and have a baby! I just can’t wait to see what the year has in store for us. 

To kick off the new year I will be joining a friend of mine in a beach body team. She is the coach and has been telling me for months I would benefit. I knew she was right, but I’ve honestly been a little scared. The last three years I have been suffering with severe back and hip pain, in and out of physical therapy, working with nutritionists, doing blood panels, etc. Things have slowly begun to turn around for me and I feel like this year is my year! I am beginning my beach body, 21-day fix on Monday. I’m so thankful to have my husband who wants to do the program with me to get himself in shape as well. As I may or may not have mentioned, my husband works on the north slope. Every two weeks he flies up to work for 2 weeks, then flies home and is here for 2 weeks. During those 2 weeks gone, I do a pretty great job at meal prepping, eating healthy, not going out to eat etc. Unfortunately, when he comes home for 2 weeks I relapse. Like most men, his diet isn’t the greatest by his metabolism keeps his body in check. Not mine! So, I get into bad eating habits with him, we go out to eat or to the movies and then what happens when he leaves? I can’t snap out of it!! So I can’t wait for him to be dedicated to this healthy eating with me while he is home. 

He doesn’t know it yet, but I threw all of our junk food away. I think that’s going to make the biggest difference for us not to have those easy, unhealthy go-to snacks or meals. So shhh, let’s keep that to ourselves. 

As for excercise, we will both be following the 21-day fix workout routines and of course doing our own activists like snowmachining! Yes, it can be hard on my back, but I try to take it pretty easy and for the most part I do just fine. I love being out there riding. There isn’t any other sport like it. 

So how did you ring in the new year? Do you have a resolution? Or just a small change? Do you have something big in store this year? I would love if you could share with us your new year, new groove plans 😉 ​

This is as crazy as my night got for New Years. Hubby on the slope, friends visiting from Fairbanks so I just had a sparkler. But it was a fun time!

Holiday Bizarre

Literally, bizarre. This holiday season has been a madhouse in my life! Hence the distance between posts. I do apologize! Thank you for sticking it out with me, but I am back baby. Let me tell you my life craziness.. Starting with Halloween. My husband was home this year; first year he has been home for three years. We had all of these elaborate plans to do pumpkin carving with friends, roast the seeds, go to a masquerade party, go to a friends Halloween party, go to our annual “Boo-Fest” (a brew fest that is Halloween/costume themed) and then stay home for any trick-or-treaters we might get. About 1% of that actually happened. When we made it to the store they only had the ugly, have rotten, deformed pumpkins left… So we had to scratch that plan. The masquarade and “Boo-Fest” fell on the same night, so naturally we follow the beer. The friends Halloween party, well.. Let’s just say as a 23 and 25 year old, we are pretty big home bodies. However, the “Boo-Fest” was a blast! Unfortunately I was the designated driver for my husband and a few of his friends, but I did have a few tastes of different beers. Also got to eat some good grub, we got a macaroni and cheese waffle cone with a maple bacon glaze on top. Yes, you read that correctly. It was delectable! And then we got a Greek gyro, also delectable. Fast forward, my husband comes home from work on the 15th of November. My boss is out of town the 17-27 so I got to work Thursday and Friday and then am a free bird until the 28th! Woohoo! So, Sunday we are hosting a Thanksgiving at our place. My sister spent the night Saturday evening, we made pies and prepped a lot of the food. I made my first turkey! We had quite the feast; with baked turkey, brown sugar and honey ham, green bean casserole, baked sweet potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, regular baked red potatoes, bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, spinach artichoke dip, jalapeño pooper dip, pumpkin and apple pies, oatmeal cake, snicker doodles, and I feel like there was more.. Oh ya! I also made a pumpkin spice latte in the crockpot for everyone to sip on upon arrival and a pumpkin spice hot cocoa for the kiddos, as well as myself since I don’t drink coffee. And when proof-reading this paragraph post writing I realized it wrote “jalapeño pooper dip” and that was just too funny to erase, so I let it as is haha! Hope you noticed and chuckled a little also. Now today is really thanksgiving eve.. Tomorrow we will attend a thanksgiving hosted by s dear family friend of ours, it is going to be delicious. She ordered a precooked dinner from a high end restaurant in Anchorage. I am probably most excited for the turkey, seeing as it’s a deep fried Cajun turkey. Uhm, yum?? I will be bringin s pumpkin roll, per her request. And a honey lavender cheesecake with a pecan crust, this is to accommodate my mother in law since she cannot eat sugar. Plus it sounds delicious! Will definitely have to post all the goodies after the great day! After our day tomorrow I plan on pulling out all of our Christmas stuff Friday and start decorating. The only bad part, I made an agreement with my husband last year that we could take turns decorating every year.. That agreement was on my year I get to out up our white tree with all of my pretty sparkly decorations, classy, ya know? Well, he wants to get a red tree and decorate with Star Wars ornaments, ninja turtles, Mario, beer mugs and well.. “Fun stuff” so therefore we agreed to alternate. And this year, this year is his year. So now we are off to the store to buy him some decorations! Wish me luck.. And stay tuned for photos of the finished product. Happy thanksgiving!! A photo from my drive to town today! God bless Alaska! 

Termination Dust

Termination dust? What is that? Well, it is our lovely Alaskan term for the white capped mountains in the fall. It means the termination of our lovely summer is finally here, and the dusting of our first snow falls are starting to come down the mountains, hence “termination dust”.  It is really a quite gorgeous time of year as the trees are starting to turn gold and brown the mountain tops are starting to turn white.And we wait in high anticipation of the, hopefully, beautiful white winter. Our first snowfall came earlier than usual this year, not that most of us are complaining! We were lucky enough for it to freeze and stay cold instead of getting warm and have the first snow melt. This is not a good thing for Alaskan winters, the first snow melting that is. We are very glad because it will create a good “base” as we call it. So when we get more snow the bottom layer will be frozen, making a solid layer for snow machining! The last few winters we have had, and by few I mean like six or seven, have been very unfortunate when it comes to our snowfall levels. Our base has not been created well which means that the snow machining hasn’t been quite as good. The snowfall has been very minimal, which also means the snow machining hasn’t been good. It’s really unfortunate when you become an adult and can afford to buy your own snowmachine and have to load it up on a trailer and drive three hours to ride it, versus when you were a child you could just open up the garage and go right out your backyard and take off on the Snowmachine. I have high hopes this year! Another winter activity that Alaskans are getting excited about is snowboarding and skiing, and well of course sledding too! Personally I am not a coordinated enough individual to be skiing or snowboarding, but count me in for some sledding. Rumor has it that they will be putting in a new ski resort at the nearest go-to skiing and snowboarding location, Hatchers Pass. The next closest that people can go to is in Anchorage called hilltop ski resort, and the best one in the state is called Alyeska ski resort. Anchorage is about a 60 minute drive from my hometown Wasilla, and Girdwood is about a 2 hour drive. Personally, my husband and I prefer to go snow machining though, as I have mentioned many times in this post. It is truly a gorgeous time of year, and I have two favorite times of the year.. when we are in the middle of summer and all the trees are bloomed, the lilac bushes are full of their vibrant colors, the trails are just enough ridden on that you know the good and bad places to ride your four wheeler for the season before they get too destroyed. And the other time of year is when we get our very very first snowfall of the season! As much as I enjoy every snowfall throughout the entire winter, the way that it makes the trees pop and the glistening when the snow twinkles in the sunlight, but the first snowfall is unbeatable. These are two photos only a few days apart of a little pond on the railroad tracks on my drive to work. One is before the first snowfall, the other is after. And notice, the hoot with the snow you can’t see the mountains in the background because of all the snowfall coming down. Waking up and looking out the window that first morning and seeing the snow covering the ground and then measuring it while I was at work to find that it was a 5 1/2 inch deep snowfall! I was quite blown away, I think this was probably as much snow as we got in the entire winter last year…  Which is awfully sad, considering that we live in Alaska. But unfortunately our winters just haven’t been with that used to be, but experts say were supposed to have a record year! So cheers to a good snow year, a Happy Halloween, a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!