Kalahari Returns to the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & GIVEAWAY

Our family has many annual traditions and one of them is attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year! There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season, then watching the larger than life floats go by and enjoying these moments with friends and family. Did you know that Kalahari Resorts and Conventions has their very own float in the parade this year? Continue reading Kalahari Returns to the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & GIVEAWAY

Italy with Kids and discovering La Dolce Vita

My inspiration for writing this Family Travel article is simple. I want everyone who has ever dreamed of taking a trip to Italy with their kids to know YOU CAN DO THIS! Our 10 day, 9 night trip last summer to VENICE, ROME, and the AMALFI COAST was not something I planned years in advance. In fact, we only had a 30 day window once our airfare was booked and my husband and I started planning our epic adventure. For reference, my kids were 13, 8 and 6 at the time of travel.   Continue reading Italy with Kids and discovering La Dolce Vita

Weekending at the Woodstock Inn & Resort

Winter travel is a something our family looks forward to every year. After all, living in the Northeast area, there’s endless options for scenic and fun destinations. We always seek out places that are family friendly, not “too” far of a drive and of course places that we’ve never been.

When I first heard of the Woodstock Inn & Resort, I’ll be honest…my mind immediately went to Woodstock, NY?  I know I ‘m not alone based on feedback I received from the trip. The Woodstock Inn is actually located in Vermont!!! Pre-pandemic, we always tried to visit beautiful Vermont at least once. Granted, it’s a little further of a drive than our comfort zone, but worth it! For reference, we live in lower Manhattan and the drive was under 5 hours with traffic.

When our family take a weekend trip, there’s little to no downtime. We have our routine and everyone knows we want to take part in all the experiences a particular location has to offer. There is no denying the beauty of the Woodstock Inn & Resort. Upon pulling up around the grandeur driveway at this picturesque building, even my kids were screaming with excitement.

The main lobby was busy with guests enjoying the serenity of the very large fireplace. Instantly we had the “warm and cozy vibe. The rooms are beautiful and from what I hear all very unique. Our elegant suite was plenty large enough for our family of five and we even found a warm and delicious welcome gift! I was immediately  drawn to the bathroom. Very modern in style, it contained full size bath products that were 100% dreamy! They can all be purchased from the spa… just FYI!

The next morning we made the short drive to the local mountain, Suicide Six. I learned that Suicide Six is one of the oldest ski areas in the country! And would you believe America’s first uphill ski conveyance was introduced in Woodstock in 1934? Despite it’s name, the mountain is extremely family friendly and also one of the most picturesque trails I’ve been on. My kids all had a lesson and my youngest finished the day strong. I’ll have to have a mom brag moment and tell you THIS is the place she decided no more bunny hill!!! She’s good to go and Suicide Six gave her the confidence she needed to catch up with her siblings! Thank you Suicide Six for a memorable day we will not forget!

After a great day on the slopes, my family worked up an appetite and we were so excited to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, The Red Rooster. This award-winning restaurant was truly beautiful and served some of Vermont’s best local fare. The menu is seasonal and lucky for us it just changed over according to our fabulous waiter. It was hard to decide with so many options, but we all made the right choice and I’m pretty sure there’s no bad one! The Red Rooster made meal time fun for the kids. With coloring activities brought to the table and a kids menu, there were no restless little ones at our table! The Vermont cheddar fondue was hands down amazing and the fresh heirloom ingredients reminds me all the reasons I love Vermont!

After dinner we ventured down to the vintage game room. My kids had a blast discovering games they’ve never played before. This charming hotel really has so much to do for all ages. There’s another beautiful parlor room upstairs where mainly adults played checkers or chess. When is the last time you sat down to play a game? I was a little rusty, but by game two,  I had to warn my husband, I was in fact a checkers champ! ha

The Woodstock Inn and Resort has an incredible breakfast buffet each morning at the Red Rooster restaurant. Everything was so fresh and amazing!!! We really enjoyed this meal before we headed out to the Billings Farm and Museum.

Before we headed back to New York City, the Billings Farm & Museum was highly recommend to us as a must visit! I’m so glad we did because it’s regarded as one of the nicest outdoor history museums in the county. Not to mention, there are daily educational activities and demonstrations. I was surprised to see what a “hands on ” museum this was and our family had a wonderful visit. We all saw how maple syrup is made which was really intersting and of course we stopped by the gift shop on the way out to purchase some syrup and Vermont cheddar to take home.

Today the Billings Farm & Museum is also a thriving dairy farm with an award-winning herd of Jersey dairy cows. My daughters loved looking at the various milk bottles and hearing about the milk delivery days. The Billings Farm even had their own trucks!

Being the history aficinado that I am, it was interesting to learn how Laurance Rockefeller and Mary Rockefeller created The Woodstock Foundation, Inc. which is a charitable and nonprofit entity. This encompasses their vision and dreams of promoting conservation, sustainable land use, and heritage that are essential to our culture and community. Future generations can now visit and enjoy this beautiful farm and learn about the agricultural practices through educational programming.  Thank you to the Billings Farm & Museum for a wonderful day!



My Invisalign journey with Park Avenue Orthodontics

I recently ended my  Invisalign journey with Park Avenue Orthodontics and I still can’t believe how wonderful my smile looks. As a 2nd time braces patient ( the first being a child ) , this was a whole different experience. This time, there would be no metal, no painful adjustments, and no hiding behind my smile. Invisalign was a game changer and perfect for this stage of my life!

From the minute I stepped in the lovely office in August of 2019, I knew this would be an amazing journey. The staff at Park Avenue Orthodontics is just the best and the care I received was like none other. My initial scans showed  minor crowding of my lower teeth and alignment issues on top. I was set up with my first set of trays and started to wear them day and night. No longer 13 years old, I was willing to do whatever it took to quickly straighten my smile. Below is a photo of my final scans reflecting a perfect bite!

After a few rookie mistakes of accidentally throwing out my trays and digging in the trash, I quickly learned to remember them. We all know it happens, but wearing Invisalign definitely comes with responsibility. The staff was super understanding when this happened and got me back on the right track!

Enter 2020 and COVID. Lucky for me, I had just visited the office prior and had supply for many months. However, the office did not go dark and re-opened as quickly and safely as possible. Protocols were put into place, virtual appointments set up, and staggered in- person visits. I was honestly so impressed with the professional manner that Park Ave Orthodontics handled the global pandemic. Safety measures are still in place and I would like to thank them again for making sure the staff and patients stay safe!

Dr. Janet Stoess-Allen is a 2021 Diamond+ Invisalign Provider and the primary reason my smile looks as great as it does! I was lucky enough to be seen by Dr. Janet at most of my appointments.  She honestly helped me more than I can tell you by noticing how off centered my bite was. With Invisalign, it doesn’t take long for a space to close or tooth to shift into place, but jaw misalignment takes a little longer.  I made a commitment to complete the journey  and I’m so glad I did! I can happily say I have no more popping jaw issues and my bite has never felt better! Because of Dr. Janet’s care and concern for her patients, my bite is 100%  where it should be (confirmed by final scans) and I can’t thank her enough!

It’s been a couple of months since I had my buttons removed on my teeth and  no longer wear trays. I still catch myself all the time thinking I should be wearing my Invisalign and forget I’m actually done! I do, however, wear a retainer each and every night to make sure my smiles stays exactly as it should.

If you are wondering what your smile could look like or have ever been curious about the process, I would highly recommend Park Avenue Orthodontics. Their team will make sure you get the care  and the best smile possible!

For more information, please visit Park Avenue Orthodontics.