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Leslie

Learning to Ski : Our Experience at Spring Mountain – Ski Bees Winter Session

This Winter season I decided it was time to get some skies on the boys and hit the slopes and that’s exactly what we did!

My husband and I both learned to ski from a young age and we wanted to see if it was something the boys would enjoy as well. I did a little research on mountains in the Philadelphia area – I didn’t want to drive too far and I didn’t want to spend too much, but I did want to get the boys comfortable on skis this season – and I was able to find something that perfectly met our needs and I wanted to share our experience with you today!

Enter Spring Mountain.

I stumbled upon Spring Mountain in my google search for skiing in the area. And I am SO GLAD I did because its an absolute GEM!

Here’s the deal – it’s about 45 minutes away from Philadelphia – which is the perfect little day trip driving distance.

<insert emoji high five here!>

Full Disclosure: This is NOT sponsored, I used our own money for this.

It also has the Ski Bees program – which is for 3 – 5 year olds {which happens to be Brooks & Graham, perfectly!} It’s a beginner course, which was great for my boys since it was their first time on skis.

Here’s the most amazing part ->

It was ONLY $90 for a 4 Week Session!

Whhhhhhaaaaatttt?!! Yes, you read that right. Under $100 for 4 week ski lessons AND….

It included {4} one hour lessons, ski rentals, boot rentals, lift tickets and helmets.

Done. I’ll take two please!

Maybe it’s not as good of a deal as I think it is, but I think it was a pretty amazing deal. Skiing is expensive with everything that goes along with it and I was so happy the folks at Spring Mountain made it affordable for kids to try something new this Winter season!

Another great thing about the weekly class was that the first week the boys were sized for everything and then the following weeks, when we got there for class, everything was set up waiting for us.

It was really lovely.

The boys were so excited to practice skiing and I’m so thankful they had such a good experience in this session. The teachers taught them the very basics from the very beginning, which was great – like putting on their own skis + boots along with the proper way to carry them.

Another perk was during the class, I got to sit by the fire pit and enjoy a coffee. It was the most magical time of my week the past month!

Once the kiddos were all geared up, the first two weeks they played games in the snow and got them comfortable being in ski boots. If you’ve ever been in ski boots before, you know its a totally different feeling and way of walking – so this was a great way to get them feeling good about their gear.

And for all my Philly friends with kiddos – Spring Mountain is THE PERFECT mountain to learn to ski on, because it’s just the right size for learning.

It’s also just the size size for anyone who loves to ski but doesn’t want to travel too far or break the bank. Wins all around.

After their first two sessions getting comfortable in skis and boots, it was all about the “pizza” {when your skis are wedged together to stop} and “French fries” {skis straight, knees bent down the mountain} – both my boys are pretty fearless when it comes to stuff like this, so they were more than willing to just let it ride!

The boys took to it really well and really seemed to enjoy their time in their class and on the mountain in general – After his class, Brooks told me he didn’t need my help, because he could ski all on his own now. Ha.

The last day they took the kids up and down the “Magic Carpet” which they stood on and it whisked them, very slowly – up the hill for them to get some actual runs in.

They did fantastic!

Check out this IG Video to see how amazing they did on their last lesson – I was super impressed with how much they were able to learn in 4 short classes.

Aside from the cost and the location the classes itself were really great because of how many instructors they had. There were about 2 kids to 1 teacher – which was incredible.

And did I mention the iced coffee + views while the kiddos were in class?!

On the last day I was able to go onto the mountain with the boys and we got some extra runs in on the magic carpet for an additional hour – which was so much fun for all of us. They were so excited to get to show me their moves and really see what they could do ‘on their own’ – since they had their skis and boots on for the day, plus their lift tickets, it was a great way to take advantage of some extra fun on the slopes.

But me running around the mountain with two very new ‘skiers’ was definitely a workout for me.

These boys like to keep me on my toes.

So I hope this was helpful for anyone who is thinking about something like this for next year – we will definitely be taking advantage again because we had a great experience and the boys had an absolute blast.

I think Brooks has asked to go skiing almost every day since!

As the kiddos get older there are longer class options for them as well – so parents can get a few runs in if they want to ski or just enjoy a hot chocolate by the fire.

Either works!

Now I’d love to know if your little ones have been skiing and at what age did you start them ? Please share – and if you’ve been to any awesome mountains in the Philadelphia area, please let me know that as well!

How To Make: Rainbow Rice And Our Favorite Sensory + Learning Toys to Play with It!

Something I’ve been seeing Rainbow Rice all over the Instagram world for the kiddos, I decided to do a little research and create some for my boys!

Turns out its pretty much the easiest thing ever to make – so I thought I would put up a little post for anyone who is invested in trying it out and just needs a little visual motivation that it’s so quick and simple!

All you need is: 1) Rice 2) Food Coloring 3) Vinegar – easy as that!

I used 1/2 cup of rice for each color that I created. I put the rice in a gallon ziplock bag, added in a few drops of food coloring {I didn’t measure} and then a ‘glug’ of vinegar – not much, maybe a 1/4 cup. Seal up the ziplock bag and shake, Shake, SHAKE! Here you can add any additional food coloring or vinegar to get the right shade you want, but it’s just kids Rainbow Rice, so I didn’t fuss. But I was super happy with how my colors came out!

I put the colored rice on a piece of foil and let it dry for an hour or so. I did this for each of the colors I created – as you can see, I ended up making six!

Side Note: You can use any sort of pasta or grain or bean and color it! Options, folks!

So now the rice is made, after it dried I sectioned it out into this little container I picked up in the Target Dollar spot {love it there!} – Then I wanted to share with you what we have used to play with it once its out and about!

But first, how gorgeous are these colors?!

Insert heart eyes emoji here.

First up, something I gave the boys to use was the Peg People I made for them a few weeks ago – we color matched the families and it sort of worked out perfectly that we had all the same colors of the rice {not planned}

I love these Peg People. They make me happy.

Next up, the Story Stones.

I haven’t shared a post on the creation of these yet, it’s coming soon – but we loved to color match these with the rice and it was a fun conversation started with all the colors and fun images!

Plus Plus!

I wish I knew about these things sooner because they are SO MUCH FUN! We have loved creating things with them in the rice. They are great on their own and even better with pretty rice!

We have been getting A TON of use out of these counting and sorting color vehicles – with no end in sight. They come in a bunch of other options other than cars and trucks – there are dinosaurs, bears, pets – we just like the vehicles! I see us using these so much in the future for counting and math fun, but the boys loved them in the rice too!

I just picked up these silicone cups the other day – and wouldn’t you know it, they are so much fun in Rainbow Rice !

Add in some Color Changing spoons – which EVERY mama of kiddos needs to get, add to your Easter Basket or whatever – and we are good to go. Love these things!

For a little discovery + extra sensory play, we’ve had fun adding magnatiles and other magnets to the rice mix! Just another fun thing to explore!

Also – Alphabots! Which are a favorite of the boys! We love playing with these letter (and number!} toys because they are great for creating small words, equations and the boys enjoy turning them into the robots. These make an awesome gift for any kiddo!

And finally {for now!} Dinosaurs!

We got this dinosaur pack of 12 as a gift and its amazing! The boys love to play and pretend with these different Dinos – and this kit is extra cool because it came with a book that tells you all about the different ones. I personally really like the colors and cool detail. Either way, they are fun to play with in the rice!

This is just a taste of what we use to play with our new favorite rice – and of course I had to document it with our favorite toys BEFORE it got all mixed together and crazy. Now I’d love to hear from you – have you ever made Rainbow Rice or Rainbow pasta? What do you use to play with it?

My Secret Weapon for On-The-Go Mom Life + A Look Inside My Bag

Thank you to the makers of 5-hour™ TEA shots for sponsoring this post.


It’s been a wild start to 2019!

With Brooks’ Birthday so soon after Christmas, the transition from the craziness of the holidays to the kids going back to school, add in a trip to Kalahari, a month of Whole30 and the fact that we are trying to get our house ready to be put on the market – we’ve been pretty busy around here.

And I think it’s going to be an even busier Spring!

But with all that going on it has still been a priority for me to make time for myself and continue on with my fitness journey. The Whole30 has been a great change – I’ve been loving the meals, trying new recipes, and cooking again – but finding the time to exercise isn’t always easy. I recently joined a new gym – one where the kids can take classes like arts & crafts, gymnastics, soccer {and so much more!} all while I get myself in a workout and maybe even a shower + sauna. Life is good at the gym – more on that in another post!

Today I wanted to share with you a little addition I’ve made to my crazy, busy #momlife – a little secret weapon I’ve had on hand during this past month – 5-hour™ TEA shots. It’s been so much fun to try this out over the past few weeks. Each contains caffeine from green tea leaves and has helped give me the energy I need for my on-the-go lifestyle.

Because sometimes mama needs a little pick me up!

This has been my first time trying an energy supplement.  I removed coffee from my diet this past month and so I didn’t have any issues removing coffee from my diet the last few days. While coffee wasn’t something I planned to remove, I did and it felt good!

This is where the 5-hour™ TEA shots came in handy – It was nice to have something quick and easy to grab and go when I was starting to drag after a crazy day. I was really excited to learn each bottle contains zero sugar and 4 calories and is packed with vitamins, nutrients and about as much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee.

I got to try out three amazing flavors – Raspberry Tea, Peach Tea and Lemonade Tea – They were all so good, but the Lemonade is my favorite – I love the hint of sweetness with the lemony taste. Raspberry is definitely a close second!

Aside from giving that energy burst, I loved that each one calmed a sweet craving I had throughout the day. I didn’t have one every day, just once in a while – and they were great to have when I needed one!

If you are looking for something to keep in your back pocket for when you need a little boost after a busy day of work or mommin’ or whatever, be sure to give these a try!

Learn more about 5-hour™ TEA shots and if you want to try it out yourself, you can find 5-hour™ TEA at your local Wawa, CVS Pharmacy, or Walmart! Check out all the locations here!

Thanks so much to my friends at 5-hour™ TEA for the goodies! And if you’ve had them before, I love to know what you think about them and what YOUR favorite flavor is!! Please share!

Quick + Easy St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Door Decor – Arts + Craft Idea for Kids

I can’t believe it’s already March!

Where did January and February go? Can anyone tell me?! In honor of the new month and St. Patrick’s Day happening in a few weeks, I put together a quick + easy little Irish inspired arts & crafts project for the boys.

For about $3, they created a new little door hanging that I love. Here’s a look at what we did, check it out and let me know what you think!

Since we’ve been doing so many good morning games + breakfast invitations, I’ve been frequenting the arts & crafts and dollar stores. So many good things to pick up to add a little fun and creativity to the boys days.

Most recently I spent $3 on three wooden shamrocks, for the boys to make a new door hanging for March.

Best $3 spent ever!

Wooden Shamrock Inspiration

They picked out 3 different shades of acrylic green paint, which we already had on hand, so that was easy and I was excited to see the ombrè affect they unknowingly created.

B + G each painted a different shamrock a different solid color and then we added some silver glitter paint for good measure. I would have added gold glitter if I had it on hand, but I think the leprechauns will still enjoy the silver.

After we let everything dry, the boys continued to have fun with the green paint on the paper I laid out. Bonus extra built in painting activity. All the greens were so pretty and so festive for the month.

We decided which order we wanted to hang the shamrocks, then I grabbed some jute I had + my glue gun {love mine, its on sale!} and we spaced them out and attached them to the jute.

I had a wreath hanger already on the doors so I just attached it to that, but next time I might just use more string and attach it to the top of the door so you don’t see it as much, but it turned out great!

It reminds me of the DIY Easter egg door hanging the boys made two years ago {can’t believe it was that long ago!} but I love that door hanging just as much as I love this!

Our new door hanging, paired with our St. Patricks Day countdown calendar {which has every holiday on it – got in the Target Dollar Spot, love it!} a little green plant, two gold shamrocks – that we use to play a Hide & Seek game – my favorite Salt Lamp and the T-Rex air plant the boys got me for Valentines Day – we’ve got a nice little St. Patrick’s Day set-up, wouldn’t you agree?

I’d love to know – do you decorate for St. Patrick’s Day? Any fun Irish Inspired arts & crafts projects in the works?? Please share – we’d love to hear about them!

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