Tuesday, July 28, 2015

All Aboard! A Great Ride Aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad

Do your little ones love trains? Well if the answer is yes, then you definitely need to check out the Conway Scenic Railroad next time you visit the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. We had a chance to take the Valley tour which was a beautiful 55 minute tour with spectacular views (despite the fact we went on a super rainy day.) We sat in the first class section which is even restored to mirror what the train would have looked like in the late 19th. century. It was a great and relaxing ride, and the girls had a blast. For the those without little ones, the train also offers dinner trains and based off the website, that looks to be a delicious trip indeed. Check out our ride below and pay the Conway Scenic Railroad a visit your next stay in New Hampshire.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Spruce Point Inn: Heaven on Earth

I may have found my own little slice of paradise right here on the east coast. We recently got back from a super relaxing stay at Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Located directly on the gorgeous coastline of Maine, Spruce Point allows families to spend relaxing time in the outdoors during the day and then retire to extremely luxurious dwellings for the night. I am honestly already planning our next trip there for Alex's birthday next year because as you can see in our video recap, this place is so worth a return visit to!

The amenities at Spruce Point are ridiculous. There are two swimming pools, free kayak use, and a spectacular array of spa services.

Total relaxation at the spa

Kayak Monsters

While we didn't use it, the Inn also offers various children's programs to let parents get some much needed alone alone time for a swim or massage. There is also lots of choices for casual and formal dining right on sight whether you want dinner with the family or a romantic date night!

Besides the amazing amenities, the room itself was amazing. We had a sitting area with fireplace and a super comfy bed with down pillows. The absolute best part though was the jacuzzi tub; all four of us took turns in it and it was amazing!

Our trip was absolutely perfect and I was extremely sad to leave. There is always something going on at Spruce Point Inn, so trust me, and make your next New England getaway there; you won't regret it.

See you again soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Birthday Parties are a Breeze at Teamworks Somerset!

One thing I get asked a lot to cover on this blog is birthday parties. Let's face it, they are stressful, messy, and worst of all: expensive! I've had a tendency to go a little cray cray on parties in the past and try to get all Pinterest worthy, but it's just not really me (not in reality anyway.) This April we had such a great time at Zoe's birthday that when it came time to plan something for Lea's, the choice was simple: Let's go back to Teamworks in Somerset!

Someone was pretty happy to be having a big girl party!
Teamworks is an indoor sports facility that makes your birthday party a blast, and an easy one at that. Every party at Teamworks included everything you need to make the day perfect including:
  • Your own private party room with its own bathroom....no worrying about the kiddos running loose!
  • Party Invitations
  • All Party Supplies- including table cloths, cups, napkins, plates, plastic utensils, and cutting utensils for cake
  • Goodie Bags
  • Two inflatable bounces in each room!
  • A party coach for the full party
  • 4 Extra-Large 16" Pizzas
  • UNLIMITED fountain drinks 
  • UNLIMITED popcorn
  • UNLIMITED video game play 
  • VIP T-Shirt or Backpack for the birthday child
Seriously, they take care of everything. Look how stress free of a day we had:

We had the same party coach for both parties and she was so sweet and helpful and did it all, from set up to clean up, we didn't lift a finger. I really love the privacy of having your own room too because it allows adults to actually enjoy their child's party instead of freaking out every second about where they have disappeared to. Every parent at our party was so impressed with the venue and said they would definitely come back.

Classic arcade games 
Bouncy obstacle fun

One of the two bounce houses in our private room
Their pizza is pretty amazing!
Teamworks also has special girly themed parties which I have heard great things about including:
  • Princess & Pirate Party
  • Princess Spa Party 
  • Spa Makeover Party 

I really cannot say enough about Teamworks and would recommend them to anyone. Your child will bounce away while you sit back, have some pizza, and savor the look of joy on their face as they have the best birthday ever!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Theodora and Callum Swim Line for Girls Available now at Chasing Fireflies

Can you believe I haven't been to the beach once this summer? Ugh, I know, tragic really. I've been super busy with work, but I need to get to somewhere warm and sandy ASAP! Luckily for me, when we do finally get some summer sun, the Monsters will be dressed to the nines in their new swimsuits from Theodora and Callum, available exclusively at Chasing Fireflies.

The girls chose the skirtini (Lea) and one piece (Zoe) in blue. Both feature sumptuous patterns in shades of periwinkle and darker shades of blue that Theodora and Callum is known for.

My favorite part of both suits were the bow details. The skirtini has a small side bow on the skirt while the one piece has a larger bow on the back giving it a dainty feeling perfect for a little princess (or Monster.)

I'm in for trouble with this one...
Zoe channels classic old Hollywood in her new suit
Bow perfection 

One day soon we will get to wear these to the beach, but at recent pool parties, the girls received tons of compliments on these suits because they really are a lot more lavish than something you can pick up at the mall. The small details and unique global inspired patterns really make them stand out. Chasing Fireflies offers tons of great swimsuits perfect for any taste or style that are sure to make your little one stand out as well. As summer winds down, we will definitely be shopping for some school clothes there as well. Check out all Chasing Fireflies has to offer for your little trendsetter today.

Friendship is Magic in New My Little Pony DVD: Cutie Mark Quests

Are your kids at MLP obsessed as the Monsters are? MLP (My Little Pony) has become hugely successful in its latest reboot from Hasbro based on the premise of "friendship is magic." The latest DVD, Cutie Mark Quests, available now from SHOUT Factory, is a great continuation of the series and has been on constant replay in the Monster household.

This DVD continues the adventures in Equestria, where being true to yourself is the key to earning your cutie mark. Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Scootaloo, visit a village where all ponies are cutie mark free (gasp!) The DVD features 5 episodes: The Show Stoppers, The Return Of Harmony, Part 1, The Return Of Harmony, Part 2, Cutie Markless, Part 1, and Cutie Markless, Part 2.

If you have a pony fan, or maybe even a brony, in your house, definitely pick a copy of Cutie Mark Quests to add to your home theater collection. Check out the full trailer below:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Size Doesn't Matter: Ant Man Brings the Fun to Marvel Movies

Yesterday was so much like a dream that I should have had someone pinch me just to make sure I was actually awake. Lil' ol' me was invited to the screening of Ant-Man in New York City hosted by Ant Man himself, Paul Rudd.

Can you say starstruck?
500 bloggers filled the Regal Cinema on 42nd Street to catch a glimpse of the movie before it opened nationwide Friday.

Ant-Man tells the story of Scott Lang, a down on his luck reformed criminal trying to make a future for himself and his daughter. When no one will hire him because of his criminal past, Lang decides to take one more job; little does he know this job will lead him right to the mysterious and powerful ant man suit which gives the wearer the power to shrink and also possess incredible super strength.

Under the tutelage of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) Lang trains hard to become one with the ants in order to save the world from the nefarious new villain Yellowjacket.

The thing I loved the most about this movie (besides my Clueless crush obv) was the overall humorous tone. Ant Man feels a lot more family friendly than some of the other Marvel films and even the most intense action scenes often have an undertone of fun. Michael Pena really steals the show as Luis, an extremely verbose sidekick to Rudd's Ant-Man. This was Zoe's first superhero movie and she loved it and wasn't scared at all....mom approved indeed! I also loved all the references to the Marvel universe including the two stingers after the credits you won't want to miss. People often talk about the Disney Renaissance, but I'd love to include this movie in with the Marvel Renaissance that really (in my humble nerdy opinion) began with The Winter Soldier.

This summer don't miss Ant-Man; it is the perfect summer fun movie and gets my rating of five ants!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer Fun at Attitash Mountain Resort

We had a great early summer vacation in the White Mountains and one of the absolute highlights was my first ever visit to Attitash Mountain Resort. This place is the perfect way to spend a summer day. Most people think of Attitash and skiing, but the Mountain Resort has so much to offer that you can easily spend a full day there. Look at all we did:

We didn't even get to do everything the park offered because some stinky rain put an early end to our day (BOO!) Some of my favorite attractions that we did get a chance to do were:

The Alpine Slide: Zip down a mountain at your own pace....so much fun and definitely thrilling!

The Mountain Coaster
Mountain Coaster: Have you ever thought to yourself, "Man, I wish I could go on a roller coaster that just happens to be on a huge mountain?" No? Me neither until I got a chance to try this amazingly fun ride out.

I can't wait to try out the rest of Attitash. Though the rides seem thrilling, even Lea could do mostly everything and she's a little peanut still. The height and weight requirements are right online so you can plan accordingly.

Lea takes flight

Spidey Zoe!
We get to do a lot of cool kid friendly stuff for this blog, but Attitash was definitely one of my favorites. Kids will love it and adults will feel like kids themselves. Make your next White Mountains vacation even more amazing with a trip to Attitash!