Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Protein Shake Roundup: 15 Keto and Paleo Recipes

Stowe Mountain Lodge With (Young) Kids

A huge thank you to Stowe Mountain Lodge for hosting us during our stay. We had an absolutely amazing time, and we can’t recommend this resort enough as a family vacation destination! 

Oh, boy, I don’t even know where to start with this recap. I almost made a video recap because I just have SO MUCH to say about our recent stay at Stowe Mountain Lodge, but, hopefully, I can share all of the awesome details in this blog post.

We really had such a wonderful time, and we haven’t stopped raving about Stowe Mountain Lodge since we got home – to each other, friends, family… basically, anyone who will listen! We already loved the resort after visiting last year, but now we love it even more. It’s such a great place, and we’ve made so many wonderful family memories there, including a number of “firsts” for Quinn. I highly recommend Stowe Mountain Lodge as a place to vacation (year-round) with your family!

Without further ado, let’s get right to our recap – with young children in mind. The parents out there know that a “vacation” with small kids is typically just a “trip” because it’s typically not all that relaxing, but Stowe Mountain Lodge really makes it easy to enjoy your time with little ones. I swear! 🙂 Ok, here we go!

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The Pool

Quin was obsessed with the pool, so we spent a good amount of time there during our stay. The pool is heated year-round to 84 degrees F, so even on the cooler days, it still felt nice. I’m generally not a huge fan of water (too cold), but even I thought the pool was warm! 🙂 There’s even a section of the pool that has indoor access, so you can ease in and make your way outside in the colder months.

The pool area also has two large hot tubs where kids were allow to play. Typically, resorts don’t allow kids in the hot tubs, so this was a nice surprise. Quinn loved the hot tub and even told us he was on “Team Hot.” Haha!

The Aqua Pool Bar offered a variety of food and beverages. It was super convenient – located poolside – so it was easy to spend a good potion of the day there. From hot dogs, pizza, and wraps to all sorts of interesting drink options – including lots of local craft beers and fancy handcrafted cocktails – there was something for everyone. We were definitely happy with the selection!

Maple Mojito? Yes, please! 🙂

Gondola Ride + Hiking

Quinn was a huge fan of the gondola ride last summer, so we made it a point to ride it again this year. Photo credit (below): Quinn Haupert

Quinn also (really) loved the map that he received at the top and used it to “guide” us around the hiking trails at the top. The hiking trails were mostly just dirt roads and paths, so it was perfect for a young kid.

Enchanted Forest + Playground

The Enchanted Forest and playground were a lot of fun for us. There’s even a low ropes course that Quinn was able to complete with a little help from us. It’d probably be better for a bigger kid, but totally do-able for a younger one with adult assistance.

The playground itself was perfect for younger (and older) kids – it had swings, slides, and even a small rock wall. We spent a solid hour playing around on everything!

In-Room Dining

After a long drive (and tons of traffic), we were kind of tired and really hungry when we arrived – in-room dining definitely saved the day! (Details about our room can be found here. We stayed in a one-room suite like last year, which I would highly recommend if you have kids.)

We ordered dinner right to the room, which made Quinn’s bedtime routine that much easier. We weren’t out late at a restaurant, which avoided a mid-meal meltdown and helped keep him on his usual schedule, which meant we were up and at ’em the next morning and ready to carpe diem! FYI: The in-room dining menu included a “Movie Night” package, which came complete with popcorn, candy, and drinks. We didn’t end up doing it, but it sounded fun! 🙂

We also brought a few items from home that we knew Quinn would eat and took advantage of the full kitchen.

Indoor Rock Climbing

The Adventure Center at Stowe Mountain Lodge has a ton of fun indoor activities for both kids and adults, including rock climbing. There was a separate climbing wall with a belay system, but, right next to it, was a smaller one perfect for younger kids.

Quinn had a great time giving rocking climbing a try for the first time! 🙂

Fitness Center 

The fitness center was well-equipped with tons of cardio machines (treadmills, spin bikes, ellipticals), free weights (dumbbells + barbell), medicine balls, and more. It’s definitely a legit gym – big and open with lots of new equipment overlooking the pool. There are even group exercise classes that you can take. Mal and I both took turns doing quickie workouts while the other person was on pool duty with Quinn.

The Restaurants

We lovvvvved the dining options at Stowe Mountain Lodge last summer, and they got even better this year. All of on-site restaurants are fairly casual and kid-friendly, but definitely upscale with regard to the menus.

All of the ingredients are local, fresh and, in many cases, organic. The selection was truly delicious and the menu changes frequently with each season, so there’s always something new and exciting to try.

Kids under 5 eat free (!!), and there’s a kid-friendly buffet on Friday and Saturday nights with all sorts of kid favorites (pizza, pasta, grilled cheese). We were also pleasantly surprised when we ordered the “white pasta” (on Sunday night when the buffet wasn’t available), and it was served with French fries, veggies, and fruit.

One night, we also ordered s’mores from the menu, which you can roast outside on one of the fire pits. Quinn actually ate his first s’more at Stowe Mountain Lodge last summer, so it was a fun little tradition for us! 🙂

Happy Hour + Yard Games

The outdoor space at Stowe Mountain Lodge is so great – there was all sorts of yard games, live music, outdoor bar, taco truck, and more!

We had a great time hanging out on the lawn and even made some friends – furry ones too! 🙂 FYI: Stowe Mountain Lodge is dog-friendly!

In the winter, the space actually turns into an ice skating rink. How cool is that?

Another first for Quinn was drinking his very first Shirley Temple, which he absolutely loved – he sucked it right down!

Nearby Bike Paths

There’s a great bike path that runs through Stowe, so we were all about having a family bike adventure. We rented bikes at Pinnacle Ski & Sport, which was a quick 4-minute drive down the road from Stowe Mountain Lodge.

We spent a couple of hours biking around and even stumbled upon a petting farm and corn maze!

All in all, we had an incredible visit to Stowe Mountain Lodge, and  I hope you enjoyed reading our recap, especially if you have young kids and are thinking about a getaway.

We really, truly love this resort and would 1,000% visit again even if it wasn’t sponsored. There’s so much to do and, even after two visits, I still feel like we haven’t experienced it all. I mean, we haven’t even visited in the winter yet, and I know there’s a ton to do then. Maybe this year will be the year we finally get Quinn on skis!

Question of the Day

Parents with kids who ski: How old were they when they first started? 

P.S. Be sure to check out my first review of Stowe Mountain Lodge, including our zip line adventure, kids’ camp (childcare), spa, coffee shop, arcade, and more!

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Double Pumpkin Bread

Press Juice Bar (Norwell) + Yard Sale Score

Hi, guys!

I hope you had a nice Labor Day Weekend! I took some time off and truly disconnected from social media, which was awesome and much-needed, but I still “documented” Saturday morning, so I figured I’d share since there were definitely some fun highlights!

The first of which was quite the challenging hero WOD at CrossFit. “Chad” was no joke and our team carried a 185-pound barbell for 1.25 miles. My gosh, my grip and biceps were smoked by the end!

Post-workout, we headed to a new local juice and smoothie bar called Press. I heard a rumor they had good iced coffee too, so we were all about checking it out!

It’s super cute inside with a long bar, lots of seating, and a wooden tic-tac-toe board that Quinn thought was super cool.

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He also thought his dead, dried-up bumblebee was super cool. He carried it around with him alllllll day!

I ordered an iced coffee and Quinn had a kid’s size strawberry shortcake smoothie with whipped cream. He lovvvveed it!

On the drive home, we saw a sign for a yard sale. I’ve been in the market for a small bookcase for my home office, so we decided to stop. Growing up, I used to go to yard sales nearly every weekend with my mom and sister, so I feel like they’re in my blood. Haha! I ended up finding a basically new Kate Spade crossbody purse for $5. I couldn’t pass it up!

Question of the Day

Are you a yard sale fan? If so, what was the best deal you’ve scored?

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Clean Eating Instant Pot Cauliflower Sweet Potato Mash Recipe

This clean eating Instant Pot cauliflower sweet potato mash is the perfect side dish for almost any comfort food.

If you love comfort foods like meatloaf and other such dishes that require mashed… Read more →

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