fall bucket list

My favorite season is here and before it has the chance to slip by (let’s think back to summer) I figured it’s time to set out a bucket list of activities I’m hoping to accomplish before the snow starts to fall.

I’m slowly and surely making progress towards my 101 in 1001 days so I’m sprinkling in some of those to kill two birds with one stone here.

Without further ado, here’s the official even keeled fall bucket list.

  1. Pick Apples & make homemade Apple Crisp. Last fall my friend Toni shared this yummy recipe with me & it was to die for. Might have to be a repeat for 2015.
  2. Take a Tour of the Two Roads Brewery in Stratford, CT. This brewery is just a few miles away from us & has an awesome bar. Time to take a tour- and cross this off my 101 in 1001 list.
  3. See a Broadway Show. NEED to get into the city before it turns too cold, which I know will happen way too fast. Potentials are: An American In Paris, Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon, or Lion King. Oh, who am I kidding. I’m dying to see just about every show right now.
  4. Eat Paleo for a Week. So many delicious recipes and so little time. Since crockpot season is now in full swing, I think this will be totally doable this autumn.
  5. Plan Dad’s 50th Birthday Party. My dad’s 50th is just a few weeks away & after all he’s done for all of us, I think 50 is cause for an extra special night.
  6. Hike another one of Connecticut’s Top 10 Hiking Trails. Preferably one that has spectacular views of the foliage- because we know fall in New England is all about the foliage.
  7. Make homemade soup from scratch. I’m thinking something Paleo. Kill two birds with one stone, people.
  8. Plan a weekend for our two families to meet. This one’s been in the works for quite some time now and it seems like we’re actually on the verge of a weekend! Expect tips on entertaining two families with vastly different age ranges when this comes to fruition.
  9. Carve pumpkins. Brian and I have been carving pumpkins together forever and get really into it each year. See picture below from one of our past carving days. Bonus points if we pick these on aforementioned family weekend!
  10. Host a football Sunday afternoon. Complete with friends, craft beer, and way too much food. 
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luck o’ the irish – celebrations in new england

I love holidays. I love the decorations, the food, any excuse to dress up, and the general merriment the holidays bring. My family is Irish so St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favorites. My mom also makes this incredible Potato Soup that I would eat every single day if she’d make it! It’s really that good.

Most towns probably have some sort of celebration happening for St. Patrick’s Day but I’ve complied a list of suggestions for the New England states in case you’re up for a last minute holiday getaway! Or you could take a road trip and hit a few of these events!

Connecticut

Greater New Haven St Patrick’s Day Parade – The largest single-day spectator event in the state of Connecticut Begins at 1:30pm on Sunday, March 15

The Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade– 11am Saturday, March 14

Rhode Island

Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade– 11am Saturday, March 14

Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade– Noon Saturday, March 21

Vermont

Bud Light Saint Patrick’s Day at Mount Snow– $17 lift tickets on March 17th

Burlington Irish Heritage Festival– Celebrating Irish heritage various days in March

New Hampshire

Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade– Sunday, March 29

Bretton Woods Ski Resort– $17 lift tickets on March 17

Maine

Bath Blarney Days– March 12-17th

Saint Patrick’s Parade Portland– Sunday, March 15

Massachusetts

South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade– Probably the largest and most well known on this list the South Boston Parade this year is on Sunday, March 15

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade– Sunday, March 22

Looking forward to the festivities!

insiders guide to Pico Mountain

As promised, here’s my insider’s guide to visiting Killington, Vermont but more specifically Pico Mountain. The Beast of the East certainly earns its name. The resort is massive and I’ve always thought a bit too much for a group of people to enjoy skiing together. Sure the trails are amazing and the square acreage and vertical drops for Killington’s six peaks are appealing. But I’ve always loved the Friendly Mountain a bit better. Pico has the kind of atmosphere where “everybody knows your name.” It’s a home away from home for me and here are some of my best suggestions for if you find yourself there for a trip.

Best Pizza: Outback Pizza

Outback Pizza is an awesome place to grab a slice and a beer after a day on the trails. The laid back atmosphere welcomes in skiers and riders in whatever you wore under your snowpants that day.. or jeans if you’re like me and need to shower immediately after the last run. The pizza isn’t the cheapest (around $20 for a large pie) but it’s good! They have giant Jenga, pool tables and arcade games. While you waiting you can grab some fresh popped popcorn to snack on. As for the best pie, we love the Botcha Galoo!

Best Nightlife: Wobbly Barn

The Wobbly Barn has been a Killington staple forever. I remember babysitting all the kids on the trip when our parents would go here. Now I know the Wobbly Barn as a good place to sit down for a nice meal… or dance the night away.

Best Places to stay: Pico Condominiums or a private home

Growing up I was definitely spoiled in our Pico accommodations. We always stayed at a ski in-ski out home off of Sundowner on Alpine Drive. I cannot begin to tell you how much this is my absolute preferred way to stay while at the mountain. I love being able to strap on my snowboard after stepping a few feet out the door and head down the trail. It’s amazing to wake up in the morning with the view of the mountain and the base out your window. Not to mention the amazing (and scary dangerous) sledding runs we had going down the trails after dark… whoops?  If you can’t find a house to rent, the Pico Condominiums at the base are also a great bet. These are all near the lifts at the base and provide access to the Pico Sports Center. We stayed in a 2 bed-2 bath condo this weekend with 5 adults and it was perfect.

Best Green Circle Trail: Gold Rush

I love this trail. Even though I’ve snowboarded for around 12 years and have skied for about 6 or 7 years before that, I still enjoy this easy run. If you’e experienced it’s a great run to try new tricks or ride switch. For newbies this run is a must. Just watch out all, it does get a bit crowded at times.

Best Blue Square Trail: Birch Glades

I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had on the Birch Glades this weekend. This trail had the perfect amount of snow and bumps for speed and a killer leg workout. Just be aware of all the trees in the middle!

Best Black Diamond: Sunset 71

To get to Sunset 71 you’ll have to ride up the Golden Express quad and then again up the Summit Express. From top to bottom this trail is long! Definitely one of my favorites.

here's our group at the base of pico on the last day of our weekend. we're already thinking about next year's trip!
here’s our group at the base of pico on the last day of our weekend. we’re already thinking about next year’s trip!

I really could go on and on about all the amazing runs at Pico Mountain. It truly is the best hidden gem in Vermont!

snowy weekend escape

I’ve been heading up to Pico Mountain probably for about the last 15 years or so.

I have fond memories waking up at the crack of dawn (after barely sleeping a wink from all the excitement), packing into the family SUV, and making the long trek up to Vermont to be greeted by the green sign as we turn into the parking lot and made our way up Alpine Drive.

We’ve had winters that we’ve skied in sweaters and some that it’s almost too cold to bare sitting on the lift. Just about every trip we were able to bring a friend or had another family join along. I feel like I grew up on that mountain and have some of my best memories there.This weekend Brian and I planned a mini college reunion of sorts with a few of our Penn State friends and there was no better place than Pico to share a weekend of fresh powder, slopes, and cold beer.

So far our forecast looks like we’ll be in for freshies every morning!

Stay tuned for a recap of our weekend and some of my must-do’s while in Killington, Vermont!

Catch ya on the first chair, snow bunnies!

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snow day bucket list

Well, Blizzard 2015 wasn’t quite what the weathermen had predicted.. or what I was hoping for.

But it’s not a total bust. Travel bans are still in effect this morning for the state of Connecticut and according to News12 our town has about 9 inches and counting with the snow still coming down at a decent rate.

Snow days call for a little extra fun- both indoors and out. Here are a few of my favorite snow day activities.

  1. Hot chocolate (with Baileys for all you over 21 year olds out there!)
  2. A Hot Breakfast
  3. Something in the Crockpot for dinner.. tonight we’re making this delicious Chicken Parm & Quinoa Soup! YUM
  4. Netflix.. lots of Netflix
  5. Do not, I repeat, do not put on jeans. Yoga/sweatpants all day.
  6. Make a snow angel
  7. Build a snowman
  8. Complete one household chore.. (I know, I know- how lame. But hear me out on this one. A snow day is like new found time gifted to you from the snow gods. Do yourself a favor and get something done so that the rest of your week goes by much easier!)
  9. Clean off your car.. you will not want to do this tomorrow before work
  10. Walk in the snow & snap some pictures. There’s nothing better than seeing your home and town in a blanket of white

We haven’t ventured outside yet but here’s a look out our window of a very snowy Milford. Happy snow day!IMG_5188