A Family Ski & Ride Weekend at Stratton Mountain Resort

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Some of my favorite childhood winter memories took place on ski slopes alongside my brother and friends. In hand-me-down CB Sports jackets, with a few dollars for the lodge, and a tin of Dermatone in my pocket – skiing elevated my winter playground in so many ways.

I want my kids to have similar adventuring experiences (except with helmets on their heads!), especially during the colder months – because winter is for so much more than hunkering down.

Nicole at Momtrends has a pretty cool commitment to sharing her family’s love of skiing and unplugged-togetherness on the slopes with as many families as possible. She got my crew hooked last year – and we all couldn’t wait to experience Vermont’s Stratton Mountain Resort, at Momtrends’ fourth annual Family Ski & Ride Weekend to kick off our 2020 season.

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The Trip
Located a bit over four hours from NYC, our drive to Stratton was hassle-free. Enticing scenic views and farm animal sightings gave us respite from city life. There are also a few nice spots along the way to pick up Vermont’s finest local goodies like maple syrup, cheese, and more.

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Skiing and Riding FUN
With 99 trails between an Upper Mountain, Lower Mountain, Sun Bowl, and Learning Area – I was super pumped to get the kids in riding lessons, click my boots into skiis, and find my path to fun. Highlights included taking the gondola to the summit (hello, breathtaking views), and getting lots of runs (mostly on the Upper Mountian) with friends while the kids were having a blast at camp. The immaculately groomed trails and ample terrain offer something for all levels and abilities. And, as much as I adore being with my children on the slopes and sharing in this incredible hobby together, I also love the gift of time that Stratton Mountain Sports School provides. While my kiddos learned from pro riding instructors, it was exhilarating to reconnect with that familiar feeling of pure joy set on skiis. Every parent needs time for their own fun too.

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The Lessons
Stratton Mountain Sports School offers ski and riding lessons from age three all the way up to adults. With a range of private lessons, group lessons, and full and half-day programs – we opted for the full-day camp for the kids’ first day back on snowboards. I’m convinced that this is the way to go! The day includes lunch, hot cocoa breaks as needed (and, according to my son, a special mitten dryer!). I returned to my excited kiddos in the late afternoon and could not believe how much they both accelerated in just one full day with Stratton’s expert, supportive, personalized coaching. They leveled-up in confidence and skills (while living their best lives!), which made our time together on the mountain all the more fun. In addition to showing mama their accomplishments, the kiddos were super excited to be able to handle going off on their own, along with other friends, after lessons. It’s remarkable what a shot of confidence can do.

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The Lodging and Stratton Village

We stayed on-site at Stratton’s Black Bear Lodge (a few minutes from the village). Greeted by a friendly staff, Black Bear Lodge offers a lot of helpful amenities. Like most, I want an early start on the slopes, and mornings require extra time to make sure that everyone is suited up, gear is in hand, and rentals are secured. The included breakfast was a time-saver with kids, and I so appreciated the endless Starbucks coffee and water in the lobby (note, there are no coffee makers or mini-fridges in the rooms). Stratton runs a super-efficient shuttle service with what felt like non-stopped transportation to and from the village and other areas. We actually never had to move our car all weekend. Stratton also has a charming village, with a steller rental service (we were in and out super-quick), lots of food and après-ski options, an outdoor fire pit, and more. The village shops will make you wish you left your gear at home (and absolutely need that new Patagonia, Burton, Spy or Volcom purchase!).

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The Tubing
Our fun continued well past the last chair of the day over at the Coca-Cola Tube Park located in Stratton’s Sun Bowl. With four lanes of snow tubing (and a cable lift service to get you to the top), a fire pit, and warming hut, everyone can be the undisputed champ of the tubing hill under the Sun Bowl’s cool night lights.

The Eats
Visit Mulligan’s for mountain views, American and Japanese cuisine options, solid selections of Vermont craft beer, and specialty cocktails (including CBD infused drinks). Some of the portions (like the tasty nacho appetizer), were more than enough to feed a small village. We found Mulligan’s to be super family-friendly with arcade games on the lower level.

Although I didn’t make it to Grizzly’s in the Main Base, I did notice the packed deck facing the terrain park. Grizzly’s looks like THE après spot to be.

During the day, we fueled up and took breaks at the Mid Mountain Lodge. My kids seemed to enjoy the Asian Bowls – while I just wanted to sit and guzzle water and coffee!

Stratton also hosted a wonderful dinner for us to sample the local flavors reflected in their restaurants – many of which we recognized the following night at Table 43.1 at Black Bear Lodge. It was all so well done and memorable.

I even had the chance to meet Stratton’s official photographer since 1968, Hubert Schriebl, and glace through his book of images that tell the story of Stratton through the decades (50 years, actually!). I may be secretly dreaming of becoming his apprentice and relocating to a beautiful VT timber frame home.

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Big thank you to Stratton for hosting my family and to the Momtrends team for injecting our first family ski and boarding trip of the season with so much excitement.

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I Tried P.volve. It Made Me Reconsidering The Way I Workout

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Thank you to P.volve for sponsoring this post.

A great workout has been one of the tools in my self-help arsenal since my teen years. I feel my best with consistent visits to the gym. Functional fitness methods have been buzzing around the city for years. I’ve been curious about P.volve since seeing their adds on the subway and recently took a class at the new P.volve Soho flagship NYC studio.

P.vovle is a low-impact, functional movement fitness method that merges functional science, physical therapy, and small hip-opening movements to sculpt hard-to-reach body areas while eliminating bulk. It’s in no way a grueling workout that makes it impossible to walk down subway steps the next day. Through a series of smooth and effective small micro-movements, along with P.vovle’s proprietary fitness products (including the p.ball),hard-to-reach muscles are activated. Unlike traditional weights, the p.ball (which straps onto the top of your legs) targets the upper and inner thighs and the inner-glutes to create long, lean muscles.

P.volve’s new Soho flagship studio is bright, beautiful and thoughtfully designed to motivate. Aside from all the perks that come from working out with friends or strangers riding on collective energy, proper instruction is helpful when trying anything new. During class, I moved into a booty squat (I suppose out of habit), when P.volve’s movement was more like a subtle knee bend. No worries, because a P.vovle instructor hightailed it to my improper form, directing me into the micro-movement with her quick corrections. Inside the studio, I found myself present in closely watching the instructor’s technique since many of the movements were unlike any class I’ve taken prior. For example, rotating the hip slightly inward (in a pidgeon-toed position) is definitely not in my usual workout repertoire. The studio experience and expert instruction made me all the more comfortable with the small, smooth, controlled movements before beginning the journey of streaming workouts at home.

A P.vovle class left me energized and determined to add P.vovle to my workout rotation. It’s been a while since something made me reconsider the efficiency of time devoted to lifting (somewhat heavy), pounding the treadmill, and plowing through a spinning class. P.volve’s approach certainly changes things up.

Ready to try P.Volve? Take advantage of these great offers:

  • Register for a 15-day free trial HERE with code PVOLVEMOM (expires: 11/8) 
  • Get 15% off of 1st product purchase HERE with code PVOLVEMOM  (Code auto-populates discount in cart. Discount code expires on 11/8 ).

All images via Lauren Kara Photography. Big thank you to Brianne at Stroller In the City for event hosting.

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Mount Snow Vermont Resort: A Family Review

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The family and I headed down to Vermont’s Mount Snow on a Thursday, for a long weekend of skiing, first-time snowboarding and checking out all that the ski resort has to offer. We had an incredible adventure – as part of a media trip with Momtrends. Just four hours from NYC, Mount Snow is Vermont’s closest big mountain resort; check out why it’s such a great place for families:Mount-Snow-Ski-Resort-Family-travel

Mount Snow’s Ski & Snowboarding School Knows How To Get The Kids Dialed In:
My kids, ages 8 and 11 approached snowboarding for the very first time with confidence. I listened to comparisons of their skateboarding and surfing experiences – and honestly thought that snowboarding would be humbling. With solid expert instruction, the kiddos proved me wrong. Mount Snow’s Ski & Snowboarding school offers a variety of lesson options beginning at just three-years-old. We opted for the Mountain Riders full-day (snowboarding) camp for kids ages seven through fourteen, placed in small groups by age and level. I couldn’t believe that my children were up and going, and riding the chairlift at the end of their very first day. Rick, their instructor, knew just how to work with my daughter and son – and even pointed out to me how skateboarding helped them naturally nail their turns. After a full day of Mountain Riders camp, I rode the chairlift with the kiddos until closing, absorbing their excitement and cherishing the moment (and awesomeness!) of being together on the mountain. We arrived at the Discovery Center, early the next morning to enroll in another full day of camp – and stayed again until we found ourselves on Sunday’s last chairlift of the day. I think it’s so important for these sort of challenging “firsts” to be positive experiences – and our pro instructor dialed my kiddos right in. The kids progressed a “color” level each day of camp, while I was free to enjoy the slopes on my own before regrouping for many runs together in the late afternoon. The rental process was also a well-organized breeze. Fully immersing my beginners in Mount Snow’s snowboarding camp was hands-down the best decision – and a win-win for the whole family.

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Mount Snow Is the Place to Experience All-Day-Après:
I had high hopes of my husband catching the ski bug – and I certainly give him an “A” for effort. Let’s say that there were a lot of laughs the moment his boots clicked into bindings – but all worked out because Mount Snow manages to make those who prefer all-day-après still feel connected. Work-out at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel’s fitness club, and unwind in the sauna and steam room. Then grab a beer at The Bullwheel (or really good coffee in the Deli if you need it!) before meeting the kids for a coveted waffle after their lessons.

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Mount Snow’s Tubing Experience is Off-The-Hook:
Gone are the days of having to haul it back up the hill after the thrill of tubing down the mountain. Mount Snow’s “magic carpet” makes the way back-up super fun. With eight tubing lanes, the whole family will want in on the action – and the best part is that you don’t need any special skills to be the queen and king of the tubing hill.

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Mount Snow’s Grand Summit Resort Hotel Is The Place to Stay:
A family ski trip undeniably involves a lot of gear and the good-sort of exertion. Mount Snow’s Grand Summit Resort Hotel located at the base of the hill handles the transition from slopes to chill-mode as a family seamlessly. The hotel offers several room size options, dining options and an efficient system of checking your skis and snowboards at the hotel entrance – all within a short walking distance to the slopes. On my solo morning, I was able to click my skis on – and take off directly from the back entrance. We didn’t have to move our car the entire four days of our trip – and staying on site made family travel with kids a breeze. The indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub invoked a lot of “oohs and ahhs” while night-swimming (outside!) during a serious snowfall. Seafood all-around at Harriman’s Farm to Table was our most memorable meal – and the kids were thrilled to get in a bit of post-dinner arcade action. And although I intended to have time to indulge in the full-service Nature Spa, or take a yoga class – the mountains were calling!

Mount_Snow_Vermont_Ski_Resort-Family-ReviewMount Snow is the Perfect Ski Resort to Get Back Into Skiing:
I don’t know why I assumed I’d be back to beginner-status after a nearly 20-year break – but it’s thrilling to come to realize that skiing isn’t something you just forget. After overcoming a bit of fear, I enjoyed run after run without wanting to stop and take a break. My re-entry experience was nothing but positive because Mount Snow’s trails are so well maintained – boasting the most powerful snowmaking system in the Northeast. I didn’t come into contact with the sort of icy trails that scared the living daylights out of me in the past – thanks to the snow guns blasting. I spent most of my time catching the Bluebird Express (inside a super cool blue plexiglass bubble shield ) up to the top of the mountain while adventuring through fun green and blue trails on the way down. Every run felt like a different thrill, with new turns to discover on the way down. The stunning views (sometimes amidst a total whiteout) absolutely took my breath away.

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We drove away from the beautiful green mountains feeling exhilarated, excited and reconnected as a family. My kids are so pumped about snowboarding, and I’m thinking about all of the other metaphorical mountains in my life that I hope to revisit and conquer.

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Beginners – take advantage of the Peak Discovery ProgramFor just $139 you’ll get three days of lessons, rentals and lift tickets for seven mountains across the Northeast, including Mount Snow, Hunter Mountain, Attitash, Wildcat and more. Also, check out the Momtrends Ski Guide for the full scoop on hitting the slopes with your family.

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Many thanks to Mount Snow for hosting us and to momtrends for media trip inclusion. 

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On Fall Fitness + Target Gift Card Giveaway

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This is a sponsored post. Thanks for reading! 

Fall comes with the sort of consistency that I crave after the fluidity of the summer months wrap up.  The kids are settled into school and activities while I try and work around everything as best as I can. There is no perfect formula to balancing it over here – and on many days I fall short in some capacity – but I can always count on my workouts to bring moments of clarity, direction, and peace.

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Whether I’m outside or in my favorite spin class, working out is like a steadfast best friend.  I feel so much better after getting re-energized and giving back to myself.  And I have to admit that new workout apparel is among my favorite clothing to shop for. That’s why I was thrilled to discover the latest C9 Champion® brand at my local Target (the perks of having a store in walking distance and across the street from my gym!).  The C9 Champion® Embrace Run Tights elevate my solid workout pants collection with flattering iridescent designs, a lower back zip pocket, and an adjustable waistband that stays put while on the go.

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And I pretty much fell in love with the entire C9 Champion® Tech Fleece Full Zip Jacket collection – because the supper cozy fleece interior and details like thumb-holes and functional pockets quickly brought these pieces to new favorite status.  The entire collection is so well priced, perfect for layering and so well made.  I bet you’ll love these affordable staples just as much as I do!

C9-Champion-workout-sport-bra-leggings-jacket-TargetWin It! We’re thrilled that one lucky reader will get to elevate her workout with a $50 Target Gift Card + a pair of the new C9 Champion® Embrace Run Tights (sizes XS-2XL, $34.99 MSRP).  Use the gift card to pick up the new C9 Champion® sports bra and more!  To enter to win, just visit the widget below and check back to see if your name pops up as the winner. Best of luck – and thanks, as always, for visiting.

Update: Giveaway closed.

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Let’s Move!: An Invitation To The White House with First Lady, Michelle Obama

In a whirlwind trip, I recently traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the White House.  Thanks to Popsugar, I was honored to be among the parenting bloggers invited to join our First Lady, Michelle Obama, speak about her Let’s Move! initiative, and the health and well-being of our nation’s children.

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After navigating White House security, touring several rooms (and sipping coffee on exquisite White House china), we were escorted into the East Room and met by several leaders in the Let’s Move! campaign, including officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, The President’s Council of Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, The Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Partnership for Healthier America.  Encouraged to take part in the collective voices amplifying #LetsMove messages, I joined in tweeting away in real-time, in a conversation that was trending on twitter for hours that day.

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When the First Lady, Michelle Obama entered the room, the excitement was palpable.  She explained how after a routine visit to the pediatrician’s office, during an incredibly busy time, her girls’ meals underwent mass reform.  “Dessert in our house went from a basic human right to a treat.”  In completely relatable terms she described how she “was the one who decided what to buy at that grocery store” and those important decisions that we make for our children become “our secret weapons.”

No one plays a bigger, more important role in our kids’ health than we do as parents.  I came to this issue really as a mom.

Childhood obesity has severe longitudinal health consequences – and issues of food insecurity, health education, and nutritional change are complex. Six years after launching Let’s Move!, our nation has seen tremendous progress and our First Lady isnt stopping.  From MyPlate, healthier school meals, the implementation of grocery stores in food deserts and so much more, we’ve seen impressive accomplishments from the Let’s Move! programs:

  • Nearly 80 million people (1 in 4 Americans), now live in Let’s Move! comminutes, where kids can walk to school on new sidewalks, join in summer meal programs, and local athletic leagues.
  • 1.6 million kids attend healthier daycare centers.
  • Over 10 million kids attend Let’s Move! Active Schools where they strive to incorporate 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
  • 2 million kids now have Let’s Move! Salad Bars installed in their schools.
  • Over 30 million children have access to healthier school meals.
  • Thousands of chain restaurants have created healthier menus for children, and food and beverage companies cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products.
  • Junk food marketing has been eliminated in classrooms.

Michelle Obama said that someday we will look back on the sort of food that we used to feed our children, and it will be comparable “to not wearing seatbelts, bike helmets, or sunscreen.”  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we’ve seen recent promising data showing significant drops in childhood obesity, and as our First Lady said, “we can’t afford not to give our kids nutritious food, because we’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars treating obesity-related diseases, we simply don’t have the luxury to ignore this issue.”

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I’m certain that my words fail to adequately capture the magnitude of the overall experience. To hear the First Lady, Michelle Obama so eloquently speak with care and conviction on a topic of such importance, felt surreal. So down-to-earth and genuine, she mastered locking individual eyes in the excited crowd, as if truly inviting you into the conversation. And to have access to various rooms in the White House amongst tangible American history, right before my eyes – (the famous official portrait of John F. Kennedy – the green silk covered walls in the Green Room – the portraits of the First Ladies in the Vermile Room – Abraham Lincoln’s crystal in the China Room) – absolutely took my breath away.

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The whole experience was further elevated by a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden, formed by Michelle Obama in 2009, where the seeds for the Let’s Move! initiative were planted.  During the presentations, we were lucky enough to see the White House Executive Chef prepare a Tuscan kale salad using kale grown in the garden.

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Michelle Obama said that she has “no intentions of stopping this work, once my family leaves the White House.”

She is indeed passion and purpose personified.

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May we all join in the sea of voices echoing the importance of health for our next generations while making decisions that influence marketing demands.

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Coming from a public health background, and simply being a mom whose passionate about this pressing issue – wrapped this special invitation in tremendous meaning.

I’m so grateful for it all.

Special thank you to Popsugar and the White House Team.  I was not compensated for this post in any way. 

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EQXMOMS: A Look Inside Our Equinox Event

It’s hard to find an excuse to skip the gym with an Equinox membership. Over the summer months, I frequented their upper-east and upper-west side locations. Both super luxe, cutting-edge clubs are extraordinary in size, amenities, and quality.  Beginning with their Equifit fitness analysis, to getting my butt-kicked by petite powerhouse trainer Heesun Kim.  All while my kids enjoyed Equinox classes of their own.  Equinox’s commitment to accommodating families while helping children thrive via their For Kids Only Programming is one of the things we love about their wellness model.

When I had the opportunity to co-host an event for NYC influencers  – along with my friend Ellen of Baby Meets City, we couldn’t wait to share our Equinox experiences alongside the sprawling club offering with a solid group of parenting, lifestyle, beauty bloggers, and business owners.

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Inside the upper-east-side location, our #EQXMoms event began with a trip to the kids club.  We dropped the kiddos off while the adults toured the multiple rooms designed just for kids.  From a top-notch pre-school to specialized For Kids Only programming, Equinox offers so many great programs for tots and big-kids alike.  My own adored the play clinics specialized tennis lessons, and I loved watching their budding-confidence soar.  During our event, the dedicated kids’ staff lead the children through glittery art crafts, creative play, a kids yoga class and freeze-dance party ending in the kids club disco room. Our pint-size guests had a taste of the caliber of kids programming available at Equinox.  Under the care of upbeat, engaging and enthusiastic staff – the little ones didn’t want their private party to end!

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A true treat for the women came in the form of a yoga class lead by our dynamic instructor Patricia Pinto. There’s power in doing something good for yourself while surrounded by strong, supportive females.

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Aligned with our wellness theme, we were so excited to send attendees home with membership trials, several great goodies from Equinox and additional brand partners.

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Equinox’s fridges stocked with chilled eucalyptus-infused towels on every floor are a true post-workout treat – and we love that Herban Essentials allowed guests to leave with the gift of essential oils.  I have a personal obsession with their pure essential oil towelettes, and always have them tucked in my wallet.  Herban Essentials make essential oils on-the-go simple; without having to deal with the hassle of mixing or carrying actual oils. Event attendees were all able to experience the pure, fresh and purifying towelettes available in essences of orange, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint.

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Rodan  + Fields covered skincare with samples of their transformation products with proven results.  We even had a consultant on hand, who has been able to build a thriving career with R+F and leave her corporate job to spend more time with her two young children.

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Healthy snacking came in the form of Crispy Green – 100% natural freeze-dried fruit snacks.  Perfect for both kids and adults, since fruit is the only ingredient.  The delicious taste comes from the fruit only, without added sugar, preservatives or artificial ingredients. All seven flavors are delicious!

Crispy Green Healthy Natural Fruit Snacks

Lastly, guest were encouraged to continue with their yoga practice, with the gift of yoga mats by active-wear maker Zobha – we’re big fans of their work-out-wear collection that make looking stylish and put-together a breeze.

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Special thanks to everyone who came out to make this uplifting afternoon so positive!

This is a sponsored post. Opinions as always are my own.

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