Mountains and Snow

North Conway is one my favorite places to reset when looking for a nearby weekend (or week) getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. I recently wrote about our AMAZING ski day on Wildcat back in December, and I'm sure that I've mentioned it here and there as well on the blog. We usually head to North Conway to ski the handful of mountains there, and in the summer it's a great place to float down the Saco River or hike! 

We stayed at the North Conway Grand which is equipped with two pools and hot tubs (inside and outside), it's located a stones throw from the Settlers Green Outlets, AND they serve hot cocoa and cookies everyday from 4-6 in the front lobby. Heck to the yes.

The first day we had hopes of getting a lot of good skiing in, however the mountain was a little too congested for me and I didn't think it was worth the ticket. SO! Dad and I traded in our lift tickets for vouchers, and packed up our gear for the next adventure. Luckily, Pinkham Notch is 10 steps down the road so we parked it there and decided to hike it up Tuckerman's Ravine! Amateur Hour! We did not have appropriate gear with us to hike the side of Mount Washington, at all.. in fact I went up in loosely tied bean boots. No spikes, no cleats, ice picks... nothing. We were cruisin' though and made okay time to the caretakers house. We were about halfway to the bowl which is where the extreme adventurist hike up with skis and ski down. Afterwards we ran, and I mean RAN down the mountain like idiots because it was fun. Our knees will thank us later. Next time, we're springing sleds!! Do you want to do what the truley depressing part was? When we got back to the hotel, all of the cookies and hot cocoa has been eaten :( Saturdays are just too busy for me.

The second day we skied Attitash in the AM and Wildcat in the PM, and were extremely happy with the conditions! It was less busy, and there was good snow coverage! Afterwards, we DID get to treat ourselves to cookies and hot cocoa! And then of course we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Delaney's Hole in the Wall
Monday was kind of random, nothing crazy. We invested some time and money in at the Outlets and I'm proud to say I only bought what I needed and nothing more! Except for a pair of shorts from J. Crew (They were so cute!), and I cashed in a gift card at L.L. Bean for a boat and tote. My new weekend bag!

We had aspirations of hiking Diane's Bath, however with all of the ice and snow there was a decent chance we might fall through and hurt ourselves so we decided not to. We did however hop on a little nature trail right outside of L.L. Bean which took us for a little spin around a pond of some sort. Pretty, pretty!

We wrapped the day up on York Beach in Maine where we snow walked shoed around the Nubble lighthouse area and checked everything out. We may or may not have popped our heads into a beautiful ocean side house that they were building. We ate dinner in Portsmouth and then walked it off around Downtown Portsmouth. What a day! What a weekend!

 Back to the grind tomorrow!

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Traffic Kills Me

Gah I need to vent... so here I go. 

Long story short.... I'm going up North, had plans of taking a train at 5, the train overbooked, so I took a FOURTY FIVE minute 2 mile Uber ride to the bus station (It should take 10 min, dang traffic!),  sprinted out of the car mid traffic the second I saw South Station in sight, and now I'm on a bus and we're stuck in traffic again... and I sit here typing this to you all. So it's not THAT bad at all... I'm just frustrated.

In other news, our beloved fur child took it upon herself to knock down our "I love you because...." frame in the middle of the night, shattering it and sending glass chards everywhere. I guess she doesn't love us, or maybe she feels unloved? Maybe she didn't think L would look sexy with a man bun? I don't know. Instigator.

My bean boots arrived after being on back order for three months. I was overjoyed when I walked in our building and saw that beautiful L.L Bean box sitting there. Not to mention, just in time for my ski trip this weekend. They know me too well. I went all out with the gortex and thinsulate... these babies are going to be with me for at least 20 years ;)

In terms of my P90X3 workout/21 Day Fix Nutrition I have been doing great, 34 days down! I did two workouts yesterday and today because I don't know if I'll be able to get them in at the hotel, and am feeling so SO sore. My arms may or may not fall off. My chocolate Shakeology arrived the other day and I instantly started concocting. I made Shakeology balls and haven't quite decided if they're going to be my breakfast, or dessert. Yum yum! Healthy either way!

I went a little crazy last night and created a wall for my nutrition plan. I have it all figured out in terms of days of the week, what meal, and where/what all of my carbs/veggies/fruits/proteins, etc. are going to be. I love it!

I bought new sheets and 4 euro pillows the other day, and now I'm on the hunt to find a new duvet and shams for the Euro pillows. I'm starting to love these ones from West Elm... maybe I'll pull the trigger, maybe I won't... we'll see!

Have a glorious weekend!! 
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HEY! Do you remember me? Once upon a time, I had a blog, and then apparently dropped off the face of the earth. WELL, I'm back to brief you on everything I haven't been doing for the past 11 days! For being the shortest month of the year, I feel as though it has been the LONGEST one to get through, what's up with that!? It still isn't over! That's okay though, I'm a winter lover and will take these days any day! I left off talking about my ski trip to Vermont, oh Vermont, I love you...

For Valentine's day (ya know, almost two weeks ago), L and I kept it simple this year and indulged in some heart shaped pancakes, and then went crazy with some heart and lobster shaped sugar cookies. I once again used my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe which calls for...

1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder.

1 - Preheat oven to 350 F
2 - Mix the butter and sugar together until it is creamy
3 - Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract
4 - In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder and flour. Slowly add to the wet ingredients while still mixing.
5 - Divide the dough into two batches. Roll one dough ball out (about 1/4 inch thick) onto floured parchment paper.
6 - Punch out your cookies using your favorite cookie cutters and then place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7 - Bake 6 - 8 minutes and let cool completely before frosting and decorating. 

We did our own number with the frosting by mixing together powdered sugar, vanilla, food coloring and milk. 

I think Boston might be done getting dumped on with snow. Aside from the random snow hour that we get every here and there, it's starting to warm up and people are beginning to dig their cars out of the piles!

I just finished up day 24 of P90X3, and it definitely has me feeling stronger than ever. The first two weeks, I was eating whatever I wanted and wasn't feeling/seeing much progress. I'm now following the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan and have noticed a huge difference. It's all about portion control, and since your actual workout is only about 30% of the effort, and nutrition is the rest it has really helped me out! Basically the nutrition plan I have been following requires less carbs, and more protein. I am waiting on the edge of my seat for my Shakeology to arrive! I have all these fun recipes to try out like Shakeology balls or these Shakeology bites ... and they're good for you too!! I'll continue to post updates as I work through the program!!

 What's your weekend looking like!!?

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Mountain Time

Happy Valentine's Day (yester-yesterday), friends!

As stated in my last post, I took last week off to spend some much needed mountain time with my wonderful family on our favorite mountain in New England. We have been coming to Okemo way before I can even remember to get our ski fix in and relax in one of Vermont's quaintest towns! 

We arrived midday on Saturday so instead of buying a half day ticket, we broke out our snowshoes and hiked our butts halfway up the mountain. I guess I underestimated how exhausting snow shoeing up a mountain would be because I was shedding layers left and right. There was definitely some tripping, slipping and falling business going on, but we made it back down the mountain and were able to take a mandatory picture in front of the ski lion!

In November, Okemo installed a new ski lift, the Sunburst Six, that seats six, has heated seats AND a bright orange shield that protects you from the elements. It is SO comfortable! I'm especially loving the bright orange pop of color that it brings to the white mountain. A couple of the rides up the shield was completely frosted over from the never ending wind and snow making it impossible to see out, you had to make your best judgement as to when you thought the shield would go up (automatically... fancy stuff, people) and you would be at the top. 

The conditions on the mountain were like none other last weekend. Day 1 was freezing cold. I was thankful for the Summit Lodge and the hot cocoa/ cookie break that day because my toes were breaking off one by one. It was really busy (as expected, hello Sunday!) but we were lucky to get a ton of great runs in. We got a big ole pile of snow Sunday night (and Monday) which left us with fresh, fluffy, powdery snow for us to shred up. We stuck to the South face of the mountain (a personal favorite) for a majority of the day and then wondered over to Jackson Gore for the rest of the day. Tuesday was groomed a little, however they did leave a little powder for people to play on, and I managed to make it to the waffle cabin to nosh on a chocolate covered waffle to wrap up the trip. SO GOOD.

 AND what's an Okemo trip without a squinty eyed chocolate covered waffle cabin picture!?

I would say staying slope side, inhaling chocolate covered waffles, getting a great leg workout from all of the powder snow, skiing with 17 other family members from all over the country, eating great food, and getting tons of snow made for another great ski trip for the books! I'm already counting down the days until next years trip!
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We're Spoiled

We're getting spoiled over here in New England! Every week we are getting dumped on with several feet of snow allowing us to indulge in all of those fun arctic shenanigans that NE is known for. There is snow that is taller than me... I'm 5'7", people!

As I type I am on a train ride back into Boston from Vermont to get back into my daily jive and work, even though Boston is strongly suggesting that people stay OUT of the city so that they can attempt to clean the streets. They're working hard, they really are... there is just no more space to put the snow except for the river which is a big no no. Monday and Tuesday had everything cancelled once again which was absolutely fine with me as I was slope side with my beloved family, eating up this amazing snowstorm. We had our annual ski trip at Okemo mountain where we ate, slept and dreamed snow. The first day of skiing was FAH-reezing, the second day was right during the storm so we had tons of fluffy, clean snow that we shredded up, and the third was a bright, sunny and fair weather ski day. More to come.  

Other than the snow, us New Englanders also have the beautiful Pats victory to celebrate. I was biting my nails during the fourth quarter, but was proud to see them pull it off, as expected! The parade was pushed back a day to last Wednesday and they had the ducks out with the team to celebrate. Props to some of these Pats fans... they were out at 5 in the morning scoping out a place to camp out for the parade. In the snow. In the cold. 

How super accurate is this chart? I know that it's spot on with myself and my two sisters. I'll give you a hint... I'm a middle child!

I started my p90X a week ago so I've been staying busy with that. It probably wasn't the smartest idea starting it right before we went to the ski house and pigged out all day and night, but I started and I'm feeling sore and that's all that matters. My least favorite workout thus far is the yoga (mainly because I can't do ANY of the poses), and my favorite has got to be the agility. Combined with the soreness from P90X AND the amazing leg workout from skiing, I'm unable to move... it's great!

I hope everyone has a great Valentines Day tomorrow! I'll be stopping by with an Okemo post!
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Thursday Thoughts

This week flew by in the blink of a second! I don't know if it was the snow days, or easy work days... but I can't believe it's Thursday! Here's to Thursday and everything I'm thinking about right now!

 + With the several inches feet of snow on the ground, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to go scoop a pile of snow off of the roof deck to make this delicious treat.

+ I've been putting it off for the past 6 months, but I've finally started investing some time and money into putting some frames on the wall like this or this.

+ I'm already over our navy blue nightstands from Target. I'm eying these guys from Wayfair. EXCEPT... I'm going to avoid that close to $300 price tag per nightstand and attempt to build them myself (In two or three years when I have a garage or workshop of some sort)!

+ My favorite pallet project of the week goes to this accent wall! I want it!!

+ I want to buy these magnets made of my Instagram pictures, but I have no idea what I'd stick them to? Maybe frame out a sheet of metal and hang it on the wall to stick them to?

+ I started following Naomi's blog (Love Taza) and I absolutely love it and her life. Family of 5 living in a 2 BR NYC apartment doing all things awesome, loving life. Not to mention, all of the pictures she uses on the blog and that are on Instagram are flawless. Oh yea... that's where I got the magnetic inspiration from too! ^ 

+ I saw the Super Bowl commercial for Go Daddy, which made me sad cry while the one for Budweiser once again had me happy crying. I'm pretty sure they pulled the Go Daddy one.
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I honestly can't imagine living anywhere that doesn't snow... it is my element. 

Yesterday, we were spoiled rotten with a snow day and over two feet of snow! 
The day started early Tuesday morning when we were watching the news and decided to go check out the beginning of the storm. We ventured around the North End and eventually found the CNN news crew over at the Christopher Columbus Park. After our 1 AM stroll through the neighborhood, we bunkered down into our heated bed and woke up 8 hours later to a winter wonderland! We had some snow day french toast and then bundled up to go play!

We spent a huge chunk of the day running around in the snow all over the city. We ended up at Boston Common where people were setting up jumps on hills and boarding over them, as well as sledding down the hills using boxes and trays and cross country skiing through the streets. We also found a handful of happy pups playing on the swan pond in the public garden, and a ton of news crews hanging out by the state house. New England loves this stuff. 

When we were hiking back to the North End we started to starve and were crossing our fingers hoping there would be a sandwich shop or something open to quench our hunger. We turn the corner and BAM, Vito's (our go to bar) was open and packed! We were luckily able to score some seats and ordered out usual eats... grilled cheese and tacos. Stopping at Vito's made me feel like I was taking a ski break and heading into the lodge for lunch. Snow gear everywhere, and beers in everyone's hands. Except for me, I went for my favorite sunny drink because I think I'm in Florida? Afterwards we crawled home and drank up some hot, hot chocolate and took naps because we're apparently old and can't hang anymore. 

Side note... L and I are loving that new "Hack My Life" show... we're learning so much!

 Yay for snow days! 
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