Alaska Wedding Collective

Five+ years ago my husband and I said “I do.” Our wedding was ridiculously fun and involved a lot of DIY (my maid of honor and her family actually BUILT US A WEDDING WALL complete with photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days and my mom made my wedding skirt) and pitching in by family and friends. Of course, plenty of wedding vendors were part of the day as well (favorites were Riza Brown and Josh Martinez, then of Chugach Peaks Photography) and I was lucky to find them (and would choose them 96,797,098,908 times over) during a time when Anchorage event planning felt fairly dated.

Since then, our local wedding scene has exploded with new wedding vendors, offering couples a seemingly endless array of options to create special occasions that effortlessly emphasize their personalities. On February 14, many of them displayed their talents at the Alaska Wedding Collective, an event offering interactive “action stations” to provide a truly special experience for attendees. Although my marrying days are long behind me I enjoyed every moment, probably because the evening felt more like a fun party than a wedding show.

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Alaska Barista Cup Awesomeness

Judging a latte art competition was not on my life list…because I don’t have one. But if I DID, it would have been. And I would have crossed it off as complete last Saturday night after the Alaska Barista Cup, which was one of the most surprising, joyful events I’ve been to in a long time.

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Weekly Digest – Issue #5

Happy Sunday, Anchorage! Whether your plans for the day include curling up with a cup of hot coffee and a good book, playing outside in the snow, or catching up on chores/prepping for the week ahead (or a combination of all three!) take a couple minutes to enjoy a few of the things that make our city so special.

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Downtown Development

Despite my bent toward optimism, projections about Alaska’s economy are starting to wear on my rosy outlook. I worry that this place I love so much, brimming with the potential to become a “shining city upon a hill” and so full of incredible people working toward a vibrant future might slowly decline and lose its verve. And yet we are far from that, and every day I find new sources of hope.*

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Weekly Digest – Issue #4

Between our wild weather (sub-zero temps to start, then 14+ inches of fluffy new snow to play in…and shovel) and one of the largest gatherings Anchorage has ever seen (democracy in action!), it was a busy week in our little corner of the world. Read on to learn about some fun events coming up (Jan. 27 is going to be busy!), catch up on a few stories around town (Salmon ice cream and golden milk anyone?), and enjoy new art by Corso Graphics (featured above).

Gretchen Loves Anchorage Weekly Digest – Issue #4

Love Note: This is Democracy (in the Snow)

Today was the Women’s March on Washington, and Anchorage turned out to the tune of 2,000 – 3,500 people. It was an incredible feeling to be part of such a massive, peaceful movement and I couldn’t stop smiling as we marched in the snow and as I saw photos of events all over the world rolling through my Facebook feed.

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Weekly Digest – Issue #3

From being named one of Nat. Geo. Travel’s best trips in 2017 and winning $1.5M for innovation to controversial magazine covers and concerns about Alaska Salmon, it was quite a week in Anchorage.

There are plenty of fun events coming up, whether you want to play inside or outside. And make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to discover a delicious new dish that’s the perfect antidote to all things cold and dark.

Get out there and love your city Anchorage!

Gretchen Loves Anchorage Weekly Digest – Issue #3

Making Beer Steins with Clay Owen Studio

Guten Tag, wie geht’s?

That’s about the extent of the language I retained from four years of high school German.* Despite forgetting most of the language I learned, I still feel an affinity for Deutshland, mostly because I have a fair amount of German in my ancestry (all mixed up with some Scandinavian, French, English, and who knows what else…) and I’m fascinated by headlines touting Berlin as the #1 startup hub in Europe. Also, Das Sound Machine!

All this to say that when a friend invited me to partake in a beer stein making class with Clay Owen Studios at 49th State Brewing Co., I was totally in: great company, good food, local brews, messing around with clay, “honoring” my Germanic heritage… not a bad way to spend a Friday night!

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Weekly Digest – Issue #2

I’ve pulled together a smattering of stories for you – from a heart wrenching look at the perils of drug use to a sweet story about being pen pals with Garrison Keillor – along with with some upcoming events (SASSAFRAS people!) and a reminder that it’s not too soon to start planning your summer adventures, especially the kind that book up fast.

Stay warm everyone! Unless you’re trying out the Wim Hof method, in which case I wish you many opportunities to play outside in freezing temps and minimal clothing. Photo by Penny Gage.

Gretchen Loves Anchorage Weekly Digest – Issue #2

Graying and staying: Alaska’s growing senior population (UNLEASH Magazine)

theyarethecutest

A couple months ago I read What the world’s best cities will look like in 2030, an article about how cities can prepare for and attract aging populations, and shared it on Facebook  with the question, “What can we do to become more age friendly and keep our seniors here?” Most responses cited the cold, dark winters and a few others mentioned the lack of affordable housing and challenging transportation as deterrents to staying. The general consensus seemed to be that once Alaskans hit retirement age, it’s snow bird time: relentlessly sunny skies and outlet malls, here we come!

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