Alaska Crafted is Tomorrow!

Last year one of my favorite events was Alaska Crafted, the only tasting festival in the state to feature exclusively locally made beverages. This year it’s back (tomorrow!!!) and promises to be another great time for all, with more than 24 brewers and distillers showcasing as many as 40 Alaska varieties, hailing from Kodiak Island in the Kodiak Archipelago, to Gakona in the east, Sitka in Southeast, to Fox in Alaska’s Interior. Continue reading “Alaska Crafted is Tomorrow!”

Downtown Pass: All your questions, answered. Plus: reader discount!

Pistachio gelato…

Cool, refreshing, flavorful, FREE pistachio gelato from Originale enjoyed by my friend Candice. AKA, the first perk I received from my fancy new Downtown Pass.

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Wander Woman

Has anyone else noticed a rise in opportunities to discover female adventurers? Between blogs like Dirtbag Darling, Instagrams like alisontravels, companies like Wylder Goods, and organizations the Outdoor Women’s Alliance there’s a wealth of inspirational content for women who value a life lived outside. A new local creation in this realm is Wander Woman, by Claimjumper AK.

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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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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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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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Festive at 5th Ave!

Earlier this week I realized that Christmas snuck up on me again. My gift list is only halfway complete, the tree isn’t up yet, and I’m still figuring out my menu for Christmas dinner. Thank goodness for the twinkle lights keeping us from becoming our buildings official Scrooges! In need of a strong dose of holiday motivation, I headed to the 5th Ave mall to soak in some over-the-top festive spirit and it didn’t disappoint: Christmas music, cheerful window displays, and gorgeous decorations all inspired me to dive in to my own holiday preparations.

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