A visit to North Conway, NH

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Hubby and I decided we wanted to take our little family on a trip to New Hampshire. We generally would prefer going in October but now that our middle child will be in Kindergarten full day taking time away from school gets a little harder.

Last time we came was a few years ago we had gone the weekend before Columbus weekend in October which made accommodations pretty cheap.  This time we had planned for a fun summer outing… little did we know we would have to readjust our plans due to the full arm cast you can see on my son’s arm.  (That’s a whole other story in itself)

So our plan consisted of leaving an afternoon after my daughter’s birthday party which was also readjusted to getting the cast on my son. We waited a few days and headed up North to Kennebunkport, Maine staying over night to break up the drive. Then next morning headed out to North Conway.

 

So let’s review this place …shall we?

Rooms: We had a double queen and sofa bed as well so we could fit all of us in the room. Guess what???? The bed’s were AMAZINGLY comfy!  It was a 350 sq ft room and newly renovated!

The entire hotel itself has so many things to do for kids! There is a small arcade and an indoor pool and hot tub, two outdoor pools with fountains…one of them being zero entry and are all heated with a hot tub. The outdoor section of the pool area also has a fire pit for at night. There is kid sized chess games, and ping-pong tables as well as a fenced in playground area which my kids absolutely loved.  inside the hotel they have times that movies are shown in their theater and ice cream social and crafts and games. The only thing i have to say is I was not a fan of the craft room, probably because no one was there. There were not any other kids there most were at the pool.

If you love to shop like myself, you’ll be happy to know that a walk across the parking lot is a shopping outlet called Settler’s Green. It’s not entirely huge but has a great selection of stores to choose from.

Food:

So we decided to order food from the hotel restaurant the mountainside restaurant for dinner and eat in our room. The boys munched on a hot dog and fries and Lex had some pasta.Of course she didn’t want much of it because it was fettucine and she wasn’t a fan. I was excited to have a gluten-free 4 cheese pasta. They had an array list fo gluten-free options, and I wish i had taken a picture of the menu. The staff was very nice about having celiac.

For breakfast the next morning my daughter and I ventured down to the same restaurant and had a girls morning. This time I did take a picture of the food. They had a pretty basic menu but if you have celiac I recommend asking things to be made separately instead of using the buffet. Breakfast was super cheap. I think all you can eat buffet for a child was $3. I honestly though i read the price wrong. They had a hot and cold buffet and make your own waffles with a waffle iron. Heres the thing that does concern me is that this is not just a gluten allergy, most people do not understand its an autoimmune disorder that eats away at your digestive system, but that’s a vent for another story. I did risk eating the buffet and I ended up fine with no reaction. Bad idea on my part.

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Stay tuned for more adventures!

xoxo Mommy Alicia

 

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Love these moments:

I don’t know about you all, but my absolute favorite age is between 2 and 3! I know everyone says they have their terrible twos!  With all three kids the only thing about 2 was bedtime routine but other than that i really enjoy watching their personality shine and them grow into their own.  Yeah ok they have their tantrum moments…but this is the perfect age. Everything is so new to them still and the smallest thing is just something new to be excited about that brings a smile to their face!

Here are some simple picture moments I wanted to share!

 

Super Simple Capresse Quinoa Bake

So this is my version of the Capresse Quinoa Bake. It’s so simple and light for any healthy summer dinner or lunch.

Ingredients:

  • Whole organic quinoa
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes
  • a few leaves of fresh basil
  • Whole mozzarella
  • 3 Tablespoons of EVOO

Make sure to wash and drain the quinoa and cook in boiling water for about 15 minutes until fluffy. While that is cooking in a skillet I saute the package of grape tomatoes with the EVOO until tender. Cut up the fresh basil and mozzarella . Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the tomatoes and quinoa are done cooking mix all the ingredients into a bowl and pour into a baking dish. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. So delicious!

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Disney World Part 2

I honestly do not know where to begin. Our family stayed From a saturday night to a saturday morning at The Port Orleans Riverside. So I’m not going to blog every detail of our little trip but I will sum a few things up.

Weather:

  •  We had hoped for slightly warmer weather and thank heavens I packed hats and gloves for the kids. The morning weather was a low of 45 degrees! I literally came from that up north and was praying to be comfortable in shorts. Every day started out that way and I do not believe that any day was warmer than 65. One of the cast members in Animal Kingdom told us that this was the coldest winter Florida had seen.  One of the mornings to Epcot was actually colder than 45 and we were up early to make our reservations. We ended up having one night of swimming which prompted us into the hot tub at Port Orleans French Quarter which was probably a bad idea…I’ll get back into that later!

Meals

  •  We LOVE character meals…but man they can be so pricey. Our first meal which has always been a must do was at Crystal Palace with Pooh and friends. That one is my husband’s favorite. I love the food there and seeing as  I have a major food allergy having celiac Disney in general is the most AMAZING place that can accommodate that!  My 2-year-old was a little leery about seeing the character but the other two jumped right in.
  • We also did a buffet at the wonderful Cape May restaurant at the Beach Club Resort. This by far my favorite and a must do each time we go. We went for dinner which ended up being late and the kids were running out of fuel. The variety of stations were wonderful. My husband has a shellfish allergy and I with celiac but once again Disney made sure we had everything we needed.  I love the idea of buffets …makes timing move quite quickly especially because we like to soak up every moment in the parks as possible.
  • On Animal Kingdom Day we tried a new place and had breakfast at Tusker House.  So here is my ho nest review I did love the dancing and character interaction. My daughter loved jumping on in with the character action. The food was pretty good nothing special for breakfast just your basics. They had limited for gluten-free items at the time. The only thing that overwhelmed me was the chaos. The characters were out going around then stopped to dance then go around again but cast members were all over the place and i saw a few people trip from time to time.
  • Our last character meal was the princess breakfast in Norway, Epcot. My husband stayed back with the books and took his time meeting us and our friends there. It was nice to have a little girl time! I loved their basic breakfast plates as did my daughter. As she is slowly growing out of the princess stage I was glad to see she still enjoyed this. I would totally od this one next time as well. Mostly because if you have someone who loves the princesses you can get to see most of them rather than standing in line and focus more on ride time!

So as for the parks. Going in January was a great idea because the wait times were soooo small. My kids must have gone on Everest at least 3 times in a row with no wait!  A few attractions were closed at the time for refurbishment, Like buzz light year and kali rapids but none the less the kids had a great time.  Shawn and Alexis I have found out were the real thrill seekers. Every roller coaster had time spent on it with the exception of Rockin Roller Coaster …just 3 inches too short.

So remember that hot tub and swimming moment? This was a thursday night and our last full day we had planned was on that friday! I had booked the BBB and Pirates League for that friday morning and was hoping to spend the entire day in Magic Kingdom and hit up a parade at night. ( That friday mind you was also my birthday)  Little did I know what was in store for us. So we all went swimming in Port Orleans French Quarter and went into the hot tub to warm up. Very few people were swimming and that was actually the warmest day of the week.

Middle of the night my poo daughter wakes sick as a dog. I was honestly keeping hope that it was something she had eaten that night.  Morning came and she was still sick. So my very patient husband ventured off to Magic kingdom with the two boys in tow, but came back a few short hours later because he was not feeling well.  We ended up all taking a nap and sleeping the friday day away. Oh well….saturday we had to go and leave and my poor daughter was still sick…this was such an awful bug and we had that plane ride home.

Our plane ride home was nothing short of an adventure to say the least. The TV’s at least were working. My 2-year-old son fell asleep for most of the plane ride but my daughter was still sick. The pilot let us know that we could not land at our destination due to wind and snow and were being rerouted to another airport about an hours drive away.  About 30 minutes prior to landing my spunky little 2-year-old Nathan decided he’s going to start throwing up. Now I have 3 people in my family not feeling well and a stewardess screaming at us to put him in the seat. Once landed not one flight member offered to help us and we were left on the plane to clean up the mess . We ended up missing the bus to our home airport because we were cleaning up the kids and getting our bags and last off the plane and all we got was a taxi home which we prayed to God that no one else got sick.  Luckily my other son and I did not get sick until the next day or 2 after our trip.  So next time we will drive and take our time and save the money to go a warmer time of the year.

During this trip we saw many characters and endured many rides and attractions. My daughter lost her first tooth, and got sick on the last day. We did face painting and saw shows. We indulged in wonderful food and rode the thrill rides until mommy and daddy couldn’t ride any more. We are a non stop family which next time …I hope to extend my stay longer and take maybe 2 days as a low-key break day. Disney has so much to offer that I felt like one week was hardly enough.

Thanks for reading about our trip! Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube page  https://www.youtube.com/c/MomLife30

It’s currently a work in progress!  Oh and one more thing. If your gluten-free I highly recommend heading over to the food court at French Quarter and ask the chef for some gluten free beignets!

xoxo Alicia

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Our trip to Disney World Part 1

So those who know me personally know that if I could travel to Disney World once a year I totally would. Growing up my parents took me once at the age of 3 so I have always said when I have kids I wold love to go as often as possible. So this was our second trip. Our first trip was in 2013 before my son turned 3. This time around our cast members were Alexis (age 6) Shawn (age 5) and Nathan (age 2) I always love going before the youngest child turns 3 because the cost just goes up.

This time around we decided to go in January when the children had a few days off of school due to Martin Luther King day and a catholic school day. So here were some positives:

Positives:

  • Cheaper pricing for hotels
  • Less crowds and ride attraction wait times
  • Flights are cheaper
  • great deals on rooms

Negatives:

  • You never know what the weather will throw at you
  • no real swimming time

So we got a great deal on a moderate resort. Last time we went in 2013 we stayed in Art of Animation when it first opened and loved that. This time we got a royal room on the ground floor in Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside.  The room itself wasnt overly spacious with the 5 of us. The two older kids slept in one bed and us in another and we had requested a pack and play for Nathan.

This was also the first time we took a plane ride with our little ones.  The kids were beyond excited for this but it made for along flight when we got onto the airplane around dinner and found out the TVs on the airplane were not working. This made for a long flight (granted it was only 3 hours but with 2-year-old who refused to sit still it was long. ) Alas we arrived to catch the magical express and by time we got checked into our room it was nearly midnight and we had reservations for the morning at Crystal Palace.

 

 

Quinoa and Chicken Cheese Casserole

So as you may have read, I  have celiac disease and so I have found, then modified to my liking many recipes that are great for my family and I. One of our favorites which is a great comfort food in the winter and fall nights is this dish.  So as with any recipe feel free to change what you want to add to it or take out.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of Quinoa (make sure to rinse before cooking)
  • 1 Package of thin sliced chicken breasts
  • 1 package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Garlic clove (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Handful of Gluten free italian style breadcrumbs. ( The ones I love best I bought at Wegmans..Ian’s Breadcrumbs, Panko Italian Seasoned)

Directions:

After getting all the ingredients out make sure to rinse the quinoa. Put a pan of water on and once boiling add the quinoa and let cook covered for about 15 minutes on medium.  While the quinoa is cooking…use a skillet on medium with about 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Cut up the thin sliced chicken breast into small cubes and cook until done.

In a mixing bowl add the 2 eggs, milk, paprika and minced garlic and garlic powder. I sometimes like to add a bit more than a tablespoon garlic powder for more flavor.  Mixing for about a minute.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the quinoa when the 15 minutes are up, and add it back into the pan for the heat. Add in the mixture from the mixing bowl, folding it slowly in.  Take 1.5 cups of the shredded cheese and slowly mix that in as well as the minced garlic clove. Next add the cooked chicken.  Add these into a casserole dish and top with gluten-free breadcrumbs and a handful more of the shredded cheese.

Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

And voila! Yummy Quinoa and Chicken Casserole which is a better alternative to pasta and chicken.

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