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Little Zen Monkey™ Blog

Find your passion. Reach your potential.




Kid Comfort Air

Ellie has adventured deep into canyons, swam in more rivers and lakes than swimming pools and summited some magnificent mountains. If there’s one thing that assisted us with getting her into the back country it was the Kid Comfort Air by Deuter. Here’s why we love it:...

Hello Bend, OREGON!

  After traveling through epic ice storms and heavy snow, we finally made it over the mountains and into Bend with our 30-foot Airstream. We’ve been told that this is the biggest snowstorm Bend has had since the 1990’s. [gallery columns="2" size="medium"...

Birthed To Stone

A short article on passing the love of climbing from one generation to the next.  From a deeper perspective, the climbing community taught me how to believe in myself. It gave me the confidence that I needed at a fragile time in my life. I found comfort in the relaxed...

Phelps Lake

Phelps Lake is a quick day hike in Teton National Park. The lake is magnificent and is nestled at the base of the surrounding mountains. We parked at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve which is located inside the park. The Preserve had a beautiful building that was...

Mystic Hot Springs

Mystic hot springs is a historic site that was purchased by the current land owner back in 1996. He turned the land into the hot spring resort that it is today. The resort is unique in a laid-back and relaxing way. The campground has basic amenities including showers,...

Hike to Ice Lake

Ice Lake is nestled in the San Juan mountains near Silverton Colorado. After parking at South Mineral Campground which sits at 9,845ft elevation the trail climbs up an additional 2,430ft. The total length of this day hike is 7.4 miles roundtrip. Camping in the...

Kauai 101

We used THIS guidebook by Andrew Doughty while we were in Kauai. It was fairly accurate and easy to navigate. Rental cars on the island are cheap. I’ve actually heard that you can rent a car cheaper in Hawaii than anywhere else in the country. Perhaps it’s because the...

A Banyan Tree and A Toddler

On one of our last days on the island of Kauai we toured the Hindu temple. I was drawn to the magnificent Banyan tree (planted back in 1959) and I spent significant time within it as I tried to find stillness… stillness that was constantly interrupted by my energetic...

Hiking the NaPali Coast

The main trailhead for hiking the NaPali Coast is on the north shores of Kauai. We set off on the popular Kalalau trail without knowing what to expect. The first mile or so was loaded with tourists but the further we got down the trail the less populated it became....

Surfing!

This was my first time surfing. The lessons were at Kauai Surf School on Poipu beach in Hawaii. Poipu beach is on the southern shores of Kauai and offers dreamy golden sand beaches with perfect waves for learning. The instructors at Kauai Surf School were friendly,...

The Importance of Authenticity

It’s just a little over a year since Ellie’s climbing video went viral. I keep waiting for my current thoughts to pass but month after month they’re still there… stronger than ever. Recently, I’ve felt the need to share my thoughts as if it will lift this invisible...

The Kikki!

Ellie’s Kikki is the little green backpack that takes the shape of a jungle parrot. It was the one gift that lit up her eyes on her first birthday and her and the backpack have been inseparable ever since. She knew exactly what it was as her eyes sparkled with...

Portland Adventures!

From indoor bouldering to eating amazing food and hiking through Forest Park our little stop in Portland has been well worth the detour. The weather offered perfect summer days with low humidity and clear skies. When we got off the plane we headed straight for food...

Fargo – We’re Adjusting

We’ve been living in the Airstream for a few weeks now. After the retreat in Rocky Mountain National Park we played in Boulder, CO for a few days. While we were there I frolicked through one of the best Whole Foods imaginable and without guilt I loaded my plate up...

Deuter Summit in RMNP

Deuter is a fantastic backpack company that was founded in Germany in 1898 and we’re proud to wear their high quality packs. Ellie’s Kid Comfort Air has taken her to amazing summits, the depths of beautiful canyons and throughout remote wilderness areas that would...

Airstream Life

We just spent our first night in the airstream. We had been playing up in Rocky Mountain National Park this past weekend and as we drove away from the warm and cozy cabin, the suspense of what our first night in the airstream would be like started to set in. Although...

Breathe Deep

My husband Zak recently shared a story with me where Ellie was frustrated about something. That something was trivial in reality but to her two-year-old brain that something was knocking the earth right off its axis and destroying her inner peace. She stood in the...

Free Birds

  Imagine sitting with your feet in the sand. The warmth of the glowing sun that is setting beyond the horizon warms your skin. You close your eyes, breathe in the salty air and listen to the waves crash on the shore in front of you. The waves dance in synchrony...

Fire Cider

What is It Fire Cider is an old folk remedy with many different variations. Perhaps you have known a relative or grandparent who has their own take on the recipe. This is the method I've been using as it has been passed around from one friend to the next throughout...

Desert Climbing and Hot Springs

We jumped in the car this week and headed for the warmer weather in Nevada. First stop was climbing at the Kraft boulders just outside Red Rock Canyon state park. Zak and I climb there nearly every winter. However, we didn’t realize until this trip how kid-friendly it...

Staying Fit and No Excuses

Prior to getting pregnant, staying active was easy for me. I viewed climbing, hiking and running as a mandatory part of my day. Once I got pregnant however, the morning sickness and fatigue set in with full force. I was miserable for the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy...

Little Zen Monkey Climbing Gear Recommendations

During the last few months we have been fielding many questions about the gear Ellie is using. The following is a list of gear that we personally use. It is important to remember that climbing (like most activities) is DANGEROUS! There is no such thing as safe and we...

What Health Means To Me

A few years back, the hospital where I work asked me to write a short article on what I do to stay healthy. I was nominated for the project by my co-workers who said that my active and healthy lifestyle had been inspirational. I came across the old archive recently...

What is Surface to Air Parenting (SAP)

Life is dangerous; don't pretend you’re an expert. Before we go any further, there are some things that need to be cleared up. My wife and I (as parents) began this journey when our 18-month-old daughter gained Internet fame shortly after one of her random climbing...

Dad is Back: The Return of the Engaged Dad

This is the beginning of a series where I will be writing about being a dad. Dad is on the rise again. We are becoming more engaged, more passionate and we're raising our kids like no generation has ever done before. A highly important topic for the well being of our...

Ellie is TWO

As I reminisce on the past two years, I find myself methodically recalling the highlights that Ellie has brought to my life. I remember the intense love that surrounded us on the day she was born, when she stood on her own for the first time and when she took her...

Burly Bee Bike Trailer

I see you are looking at bike trailers... If you have child (or two) or use your bike around town a lot when going to the store, then you have probably considered purchasing one of the many bike trailers on the market. When we first had Ellie, I found myself firmly in...

A Chocolate Treat for the Healthy Athlete

We eat fairly healthy in our house and when we come across a recipe that we think is worth sharing with others, it means that we are beyond excited about it. We avoid added sugars in our food which eliminates the purchase and consumption of most treats that you would...

Joovy Tricycoo – The BEST Tricycle out there.

The Joovy Tricycoo - A Little Zen Monkey Review We first saw the Joovy Tricycoo at the Outdoor Retail show in Salt Lake City. Rachael was still pregnant at the time but, we knew that this item was a MUST. We ordered it as soon as it was on the market. The Tricycoo had...