Outdoor Families Magazine: Helping families across the globe fall in love with the Great Outdoors

It is no secret that I have been pretty absent from you all, my beloved Mommy and Daddy Hikers! I certainly didn’t expect it to happen, but about 11 months ago life took off on a completely different trajectory and I, being the heart-follower that I am, went for it! 

Not only have I been busy developing and executive producing a pretty awesome new television series, but more importantly to you guys, I have been busting my butt working on a project that probably would have never entered into my life had I not started this blog. So it is with the greatest pride and excitement that I  announce to you, my loyal readers, the launch of my newest baby! 

Outdoor Families Magazine! OFM launches in t-minus four days (January 15, 2015) and it will be a free digital magazine that encourages families toward lifelong appreciation of outside spaces. The magazine, available at http://www.outdoorfamiliesonline.com will strive to enrich the lives of multi-generational families worldwide by providing unparalleled outdoor and adventure related content meant to inspire a connection to, participation in, and stewardship of the natural world.

January Issue’s Cover

To commemorate our inaugural issue January 15, 2015, Outdoor Families Magazine will also launch the “Great Family Adventure” Photo Contest, inviting families from around the world to show off their awesome family adventures pictures! At the end of the two week contest, we’ll be presenting one lucky family with a two-night stay and three adventure-packed days on southern California’s Central Coast in the city of Oxnard, gateway to the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. In addition, our finalists will receive cool prizes from ten other awesome outdoor retailers including Hi-Tec footwear and Sierra Trading Post.

The magazine’s advisory board is comprised of more than 30 business and thought leaders in the outdoor family and adventure market, including my partners, our managing editor, Erin Kirkland, author of Alaska on the Go: Exploring the 49th state with children and our operations manager, Traci Lehman who will also be leading the magazine’s team of research and development experts who are passionate about supporting our magazine’s mission by documenting the benefits of outdoor time and identifying the barriers families face with regards to getting outside, so we can face these issues head on and find real world solutions.

Outdoor Families Magazine will be the go-to resource hub, supporting our already robust, engaged #OutdoorFamilies community and connecting with others who are interested in obtaining information related to family outdoor sports, activities and play, environmental stewardship, volunteering, adventure travel, mind and body nourishment and green living resources, ideas and tips. 

When I got into this crazy blogging world I never, in a million years, would have expected it to lead me where I am today; a member of The North American Travel Journalists Association, founder of a magazine, part of an absolutely incredible community of people. Throughout my wee three years, the one thing I noticed blatantly missing was a lack of relatable content available to families who simply want motivation and inspiration to get outdoors with their kids. I was dumbfounded by it actually and it is our hope that this magazine will fill that void. There are a lot of us out there, families who choose to go off-the-beaten-path, with our kids right beside us, along for the adventure. In the rapidly-growing market of outdoor family adventure we intend to thoughtfully lead the movement. I hope you’ll join us for the ride!

Join the Outdoor Families community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube!

Notes on a Raising a Multi-Cultural Kid

As most of you may know, I’m from New Orleans. My ancestors are a mixed bag, coming from as far away as Spain, France and the Canary Islands, and as close to home as the Chitimacha Indian Tribe, so I have always proudly referred to myself as a mutt. My husband is from Istanbul, Turkey and with his ancestry comprised of 4 diametrically, politically-opposed nations (Kurdish, Turkish, Syrian and Greek), it’s a massive lesson in compassion that his lineage even exists at all.

Lounging on the Mediterranean Sea in the South of Turkey [Photo Courtesy Kerem Hanci]
My husband and I embrace our cultural differences. They are distinct and beautiful and we try to impart the variety of customs and traditions to our dsughter while also creating new ones.

Living in Diversity

We are blessed to live in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world! Los Angeles has a very large and active Turkish community, as well, and we have built quite a beautiful network of friends in the almost two decades we have lived here. In addition, we have numerous friends who are also raising children in a multi-cultural family from Chinese to Mexican, Filipino and Indian, an essential example to our kids of the ever-changing landscape of what family looks like. We have all bonded together to form a nurturing environment in which to raise our tribe’s children.

Our LA hiking tribe [Photo Courtesy Kerem Hanci]
Multi-Cultural Cuisine

The kitchen is one place where the diversity of our cultures is highlighted in our house! Any given week, we are serving up the United Nations of food, from red beans and rice to mücver. I have embraced Turkish cuisine, and have mastered an arsenal of traditional recipes, but I also enjoy experimenting with my own take on the various Turkish and Southern cuisine flavor profiles.

Mucver aka Zucchini Fritters [Photo Courtesy Kerem Hanci]
Speaking in Tongues

A priority for us from the very beginning was ensuring our little peanut would have the ability to speak to her Turkish relatives in their native tongue, giving her the ability to absorb her Turkish roots. My husband only speaks to the baby in Turkish and I try with only about 40% success to speak to her in Turkish, but we are rapidly discovering that as her language progresses, my tarzanian Turkish is not enough to ensure her fluency in the language. Rosetta Stone is a great tool, but I’ll be signing up for Turkish language classes this summer, for sure!

In the end, I hope that my daughter’s experience of being raised in a Multi-Cultural family will allow her to be a conscious, global citizen who has an empathy, understanding and appreciation of the diversity of the world she lives in, integrating herself into the large world tapestry of cultures and traditions.

The Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey [Photo Courtesy Kerem Hanci]