Thursday, October 25, 2012

Junior Achievment World of South Florida

This last Tuesday Dan attended one of the coolest educational community events he has ever experienced. I wish that every school in America could have a Junior Achievement World.   Business know-how and personal finance is taught to our youth of today. Our youth of today are our adults of tomorrow.

Photo Courtesy Miami Dolphins

I believe this room was filled with tomorrows professionals. Maybe a future President!  Dan and I believe that the basis of basic business and finance skills are vital to a successful adult life.

School teachers take note! This is really neat!

THIS is cool!

Photo Courtesy Miami Dolphins
Dan Carpenter, Koa Misi, and Diane Philbin with the professionals of tomorrow.

Check it out!

Miami Dolphins Article about event click HERE
Photo Gallery click HERE
Listen - Dan Carpenter on the radio. His experience with Junior Achievement click HERE


Monday, October 22, 2012

Alaska Trip Day 2

  **NOTE**
This trip and it's expenses were paid for by the Copper River Salmon Company.
The decision to post about it, and all opinions are solely mine.
Thank you Copper River Salmon for an experience of a lifetime!
I enjoyed being a member of your Fresh Catch Crew.
Thank you for picking Megan and myself to come visit!

Welcome To Alaska!

     On day two, I woke up as the sun did in beautiful Seattle. The Copper River Salmon Company had scheduled an early flight so I could get to Cordova at a decent hour. After the car service dropped me off at the airport a new excitement came over me as I knew that I got to meet the other food blogger that was coming on the trip as well. I was crossing my fingers. This was the chic I would be spending quite a bit of time with over the next few days while in Alaska.
  
     To my relief, she (Megan, of Wanna Be A Country Cleaver) was TOTALLY normal. We got got along perfectly and hit it off right away. Wait... Maybe that means she's not normal... Is normal in my book normal? Haha. Oh well! After grabbing a coffee together at Starbucks, we were off to Alaska! First stop, Anchorage Airport.

The Flight from Seattle to Anchorage was gorgeous!

Just Beautiful!

     We had a short layover at Anchorage. Not enough time to leave the airport, but long enough to relax a bit.


We enjoyed a couple beers and grabbed lunch at Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse before hopping our flight to Cordova. 


Alaskan King Crab Roll - Yes Please!

After we enjoyed chatting over a ridiculously delicious lunch, we hopped on our final plane to Cordova. We were both thrilled to the max and bursting with excitement to finally experience the community, see the operation, and meet everyone in Cordova at the Copper River Salmon Company that we had been writing about and corresponding with  via internet for months.

When we landed right outside Cordova, Alaska my eyes couldn't get any wider. I was like a curious kid at Christmas. I couldn't believe I was really in ALASKA! We grabbed our bags and hopped in with our ride.

A few things I was either reminded of or introduced to on my short ride from the airport to Cordova that I LOVED.
-You must fly or come by water to Cordova. You cannot drive from your city to Cordova. Any car you see there has been ferried in at one time or another.
-No Fancy Business. No need to dress up to the max. Dressing up in Cordova is like dressing up in my hometown of Plentywood. Leave the glitzy diamonds and sequins at home. Jeans are perfectly acceptable. Be comfortable. "YES!! Thank You!!"
-I discovered the overwhelming BEAUTY of Alaska at it's finest. I honestly believe Cordova region is the pearl of Alaska. I am not sure much else in this world could be so untouched and natural. At times it looked like a Pixar movie because it was so lush and green. (See pics below)

Taken from my phone while on the drive. So lush and green.

Taken from my phone while on the drive in. 
Everyone catching dinner, and their winter dinners.

Once we arrived in Cordova, we were dropped off at The Reluctant Fisherman Inn, where we would be staying. We got our welcome bags, keys to our rooms, and had an hour or so to relax until dinner.

My Reluctant Fisherman Inn Review?
Fabulous!
Friendly staff, clean rooms, free coffee and tea round the clock, great views, bar/restaurant conveniently attached and prime access to the water and downtown area.
Perfect for the fisherman or outdoorsmen type.
If you are looking for a Ritz Carlton this is not the place, but then again, Cordova in general wouldn't be.
This was PERFECT for me! When I go back to Cordova, I will stay here again.
Click on their link in blue above to see pics on their facebook page.
5/5 Stars

I was tickled to discover my room had a Harbor View!
This was a pic taken with my phone just outside of my sliding doors.
Small video taken from my room with my iphone.
 

Next, we enjoyed dinner at the Reluctant Fisherman's Restaurant with a few of the Copper River Salmon folks. Their food was out of this world! You wouldn't expect gourmet in such a small town. But this food was fabulous! 
(Sorry no pic, it was so good I gobbled it before photographing.)

After dinner, out on the dock we found a cute little otter that was doing his own thing.

"Da dada da da! How relaxing!"  

"I feel someone watching me."

"Hey YOU! What you lookin' at!?!? Mind your own."

"Well, whatever...Da dada da da!" 

We also were lucky enough to experience an amazing sunset! Below is a pic of Megan and I watching our first Cordova sunset after dinner on the deck with some of the Copper River Salmon Company Crew.
This picture is courtesy of Megan. (Purple collared jacket, yellow shirt)



Video of sunset over the harbor from my iphone
Taken from the deck at the Reluctant Fisherman's Restaurant.
 
TONS of sunset pics. But I just couldn't get enough. I always wind up with a million pics of sunsets. I just love them!

Calm and beautiful! 

It doesn't get much better than this! There is such spirit and calm high energy in a sunset. Does that make sense?



Later that evening, I snuck out to the docks where I snapped a few pics of the fishing boats. It was a beautiful evening to walk off some of my excitement. Then off to bed to rest for the fun filled day ahead of me when I woke.


 The silence of the night. No traffic, no airplanes, no noise. Crisp cool air that shows you your breath. Old fishing boats with many a tale to tell, and the majestic mountain in the distance. Beautiful!


Stay tuned for:
Day 3 - Educational Tours
Day 4 - Discovering The Outdoors!


**NOTE**
This trip and it's expenses were paid for by the Copper River Salmon Company.
The decision to post about it, and all opinions are solely mine.
Thank you Copper River Salmon for an experience of a lifetime!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hair Because We Care

Hair Because We Care is a fundraiser that I learned about on my latest visit to Gilda's Club South Florida. Throughout the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hair Because We Care sells pink hair extensions for $20 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. When I became aware of such a fabulously fun and important fundraiser I immediately knew I wanted to become involved. My Grandmother is a Breast Cancer Survivor, and I know she isn't alone. It seems like everywhere you turn these days someone has been effected by Breast Cancer in one way or another. Everyone has their own story.

After a brief meeting with Ilona, the Head of the Community Relations Department of the Miami Dolphins, a plan was in the works. In no time at all I got the call. She had gotten it passed for the Hair Because We Care Crew to come to the Breast Cancer Awareness Miami Dolphins Game and sell pink hair along side the Miami Dolphins Women's Organizations fundraising table on the plaza! 

On October 14th, 2012, the Hair Because We Care Crew sold pink hair extensions at their first Miami Dolphins Game ever. It was a hit! Much fun was had accessorizing people young and old, male and female with pink hair! I wanted to give Dan a pink hair extension for the game, but I think there are rules against anything detachable and/or things legal for game day attire. Too many rules for me, so we stuck to ourselves and the plaza peeps.

Check out some of the pictures below! And if you didn't get a chance to get your pink hair at the game, don't worry! There are approximately 60 salons in South Florida that will put it in for you! Click the blue "Hair Because We Care" link above to find a list of the salons.

Thank you to
-Gilda's Club South Florida for introducing me to such an awesome fundraiser.
-The wonderful women of the Miami Dolphins Community Relations Department for getting the event passed for the plaza short notice, and setting everything up.
-The Hair Because We Care Crew for coming out with their pink hair and awesome attitudes to help raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer.
-All of the Miami Dolphins Fans who came out and purchased pink hair extensions to support the cause and root on the Dolphins to their victory over the Rams.
-Athletes Quarterly Magazine, Miami Dolphin Jimmy Wilson, Kim Staninger, and Joseph Bohne for the retweets about the event.
-My fellow Miami Dolphins Women's Organization ladies for sharing their space on the plaza with Hair Because We Care, and for those couple of ladies who bought their pink hair too!

Photos are Courtesy of Gilda's Club South Florida and Hair Because We Care.

Men got their pink hair!

 And not only on their heads! This guy got his beard done!

Busy day at the game for Hair Because We Care!
You could choose light pink clip in extensions or bright/dark pink semi permanent ones.
 
Love this one!
 

 The awesome Hair Because We Care Stylists from The Elite Group!

 The founder of Hair Because We Care, Nina Havlik with myself, Kaela Carpenter.

Even this wild fan, Gorilla Man, wanted some pink hair...

...And those MUCH more beautiful than he... 
Jackie Long, Miami Dolphin Jake Long's wife.

The Elite Group for Hair Because We Care with Kara Ross, wife of Miami Dolphins Owner, Stephen Ross, (Front center),  Kaela Carpenter, wife of Miami Dolphins Kicker Dan Carpenter (me), and Nina Havlik, founder of Hair Because We Care.
 Kara got her pink hair extension too! Way too cool to have her come out and support the cause! Thanks Kara! Check out the shirts she designed for the Miami Dolphins Women's Organization! I am wearing one, and she is holding one up. Mrs. Ross designs many beautiful things. Check them out HERE! If you are interested in the awesome shirts she designed for the MDWO, they are for sale in the Miami Dolphins Pro Shop now!
 It was all round a good day. Pink colored the stadium. Way cool.
Later that night, while Dan and I were on the back patio watching some football, I let Rylee try on the extension too. Yes, I am a nerd. I know.

Do you raise awareness or funds for Breast Cancer? How do you show your support?




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Halloween Princess

Yesterday the Miami Dolphins Players, MDWO, TD, Cheerleaders, Duffy's, and Party City teamed up at the local Party City location to deck out 20 local children in Halloween gear.

The kids rode the bus in from Miami's Lorah Elementary School. They were filled with excitement as they met everyone and were given the opportunity to shop for their very own Halloween costume of their choice.

Dan and my little cutie pie that we were helping chose to be a princess. She was so timid at first, but by the end we had her giggling and choosing exactly what she wanted. We found not only the best princess dress, but also glittery shoes, bracelets, gloves, rings, necklaces, hair extensions, a crown, purse, and wand.

I helped her try everything on to be sure it fit perfectly. After getting everything just right, I turned on the sparkle lights in the skirt of her gown, and whirled her around towards the mirror. When she caught her first glimpse of herself her eyes lit up like the Fourth of July! The quiet little girl quickly became one gleaming little princess with a smile that could win over any prince.

When we emerged from the bathroom to show Dan he agreed that she was the most beautiful princess he had ever seen!  She was tickled pink and so were we. She got everything she wanted plus more. All three of us had a ball.

We didn't manage to get a picture of the complete outfit all on at once. We were having too much fun to think about pictures much, but here are a few that the Dolphins caught, or I caught on my phone.

Photo Courtesy - Miami Dolphins

The whole group after purchasing the costumes. Photo Courtesy -  Miami Dolphins

It fits!! Lets go surprise Dan with our transformation!

Shoe fitting. Dan found the perfect glitter shoes for us!

 Checking out with all of our goodies!



 All done! 
With last minute additions of a princess candy bucket, clip in hair extensions, a little lip gloss kit, and 2 Jolly Ranchers we were set! 
She was happy as can be and so were we!

I hope she has the best Halloween ever this year and gets lots of candy! 
What a pretty princess she will be! 

Here is the link to the Miami Dolphins write up and more pictures.
Click HERE

Monday, October 8, 2012

Alaska Trip Day 1 - Florida to Washington

For the past few months, Copper River Salmon Company has been sending me fish. Not just any fish. Copper River Salmon. Copper River Salmon is one of the most sought after fish in the world. (click on the blue words above to read about Copper River Salmon.)

I felt lucky to be receiving this special fish for such a good price. The price? Free!! All I had to do was make recipes, share them on social media, and also locate a few places locally that was selling or serving Copper River Salmon. It was prize enough to be getting the salmon for free, but come to find out a few months down the road, I won another prize! They wanted to fly myself and another blogger up to Cordova, Alaska to check out their gig! Yes Please! Man was I stoked!!

The first day, they flew me from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Seattle, Washington, where they put me up in a hotel near the Pike Place Market. Copper River Salmon Company knows their Foodies well! They allowed 1/2 a day there in Seattle to explore the market and do all those nerdy food things that I like to do. I was in heaven!

Below are a pictures I captured while visiting Pike Place Market. And at the end of the post I will leave a link to their website to read more about it. I strongly encourage anyone ever visiting Seattle to leave at least 1/2 a day to fiddle around in this area. There are samples galore, fresh fish and seafood everywhere, entertainment, wine and beer tasting, music, art, etc. Everything you could hope for in a market you will find here. I fell in love with this place.

I have typed in the "blue word links" so that you can discover some of the food and places further for ordering purposes or travel planning.

 Just a couple city block walk from my hotel to the market.

Street is filled with energy, activity, people, flowers, and sweet aromas of fresh food!
One of the main entrances.

Right inside the main entrance. So much fresh seafood.


There was a lot of activity at these fish places. They are cheery, helpful, and they sing loudly together while tossing fish through the air back and forth. They even let me hold a big one:)

What kind of a day would it have been without a snack! I walked by here and grabbed four HUGE shrimp with some cocktail sauce for a nice little treat while walking the market.

Seriously, look how honking that is!

There were so many samples at the market there was no way I could photograph all the neat stuff, but I thought the honey was cool because it naturally lured in more than just humans. It was fun to watch people cautiously dip their tasting sticks around these little buggers.

Smoked Salmon Jerky! This was the bomb.com. #MoreFreeSamples!

This place was cool! Uli's Famous Sausage Company has sausages representing many different countries. As you can see below, each label names the sausage, presents the countries flag, and describes the flavor of the sausage as well.

Have you ever had bacon in chocolate? Me neither, but it was AWESOME!!
 I met two really cool sisters from Jersey at a wine tasting. We decided we needed to go beer tasting as well. So we hit up The Pike Brewery for some munchies and beer. #GoodCompany

Gorgeous flowers for next to nothing in price!

Market Spice. This was my first experience with Market Spice. LOVE!

At Market Spice they had absolutely every spice, tea, coffee, etc you could ever want. I love that it is all in bulk so you can buy as little or as much as you want. They also store in big recycled glass jars with screw on lids. Just my style:)

My loot.


Stay tuned for the rest of the Alaska Trip pics! I can't wait to share them with you!!

Next up! Day 2- Arrival in Cordova, Alaska!

Pike Place Market Link - Click HERE