Family Traditions. Skiing Big White.

Confession, I was supposed to post this blog post last Friday.  Maxed out on my to-do lists and wiped out energy has me putting things on hold too much this week, and not being present.  Even more the reason I need to share, and remember the reason, for this post.

family ski week

mid winter break vacation ideas

big white ski resort

skiing as a family

Family traditions.
Some are regular, routine, small but special...Friday night movie night, keeping us centered, and absolutely not ok to waiver from, especially for a certain 10 yr old.

Then there are the family traditions that are BIG, happening once a year, that become legendary when we return home and make it into regular dinner conversation.  Also not ok to waiver from.

Both write the story of our family and both are super necessary.

This post is about the latter.

As a family we sit down each year and (sort of ) decide where to spend our vacation money, trying to live within our means while knowing how important it is to escape the day to day grind, being intentional and choosy with our trips.  Big White was unanimously on the must happen (again) list.

So as I sit to write this blog post, literally in my car in a parking garage taking notes because I have a 15 min gap between to-dos, and my bum is so pleasantly warm, can I get a hell yes for seat warmers, and it's quiet, I'm trying to think of how to not sound like a broken record because I want to write what I wrote last year

Similar to last year, only faster and steeper - seriously, very concerned how I'm gonna keep up in a few years - Peyton and I are the last men standing.  Favorite phrases "mom we gotta do 20 more runs." and "I'm OK!" After a very long wait for him to emerge from a trail, arms held high in triumph, even more disheveled and snow covered than I thought possible.  Then on the lift up the story gleefully unfolds..."so, I had to take a deep breathe and unbuckle my skis..."   Please note:  I was nearby enough in case of real danger, far enough away for real kid adventure.  Isn't that a mom's constant balance?  "Mom I can just take my skis off and hike up to it."  Oh my word and he did.

Let's just say that the hot tub on our condo patio came in VERY necessary for this tired out mama.

I was nearby enough in case of real danger, far enough away for real kid adventure.  Isn't that a mom's constant balance?

As a mom this is the thrill for me - seeing my kids eyes light up and watch them maximize their potential.  Let me be clear - by maximize I mean they are WILLING to put their ALL in it, fall down and still get back up, while loving (almost) every minute.  This is my question - how do I make this happen outside of Big White?  Besides the epic memories, this is my take home.

Big White Ski School.
We plan out our stay to spend part of the time with the kids in ski school - this gives our kids stellar skill building on the mountain, seriously the amount of learning and one on one attention they receive is remarkable.  I don't know about the rest of the world, but my kids listen so much better to someone other than their parents.  Not taking it personal.  Alexandre and Sarah, their instructors, take on a bit of celebrity status.  Yes, I tear up when they share about each of my kids on the last day of pickup.  OK I'm that mom.  Ski school also gives us adults, adult time.  Imagine that.  Oh I love my kids, of course I do, but a family vacation with adult time.  Yes please.  Besides the wonder and exhilaration that skiing this mountain stirs inside me, I can't help but get lost in the beauty and majesty of Big White.  And well I would for surely get lost if not for following the leader, which is not me.  But the maps I do love seeing show all the places my kids skied at the end of their lesson, another very cool point not to be left out - the trackers the kids wear, so at the end of our trip, we reminisce through it all while watching all the squiggly lines on the mountain map.  Visuals are so cool. 

Take note: before ski school pickup, stop for a slope side beer next to the fire pits at The Woods.  Your welcome.  It's exactly what that transition needs.

Other Must Do Family Activities.
Tubing is saved for the last evening of our trip, it eases the fact that we are saying goodbye to the slopes.  The squealing, spinning, running and laughing that this single activity creates is remarkable.  Something about being in the snow after dark, under the lights, that I can't quite explain.  I highly recommend this for your itinerary, whether a no spinner or a crazy spinner, it's a family favorite.  There's also many events during the week, from bingo night at Happy Valley Lodge to a weekly firework show and kids carnival.  Check out the calendar here.  My 10yr old states "Big White is sponsored by families mom."  True story, after dinner at our condo, we head out for hot cocoa at the Happy Valley Lodge which requires, for those who wish this route, to tumble through the snow under twinkling lights, then a gondola ride to our destination.

Way to save:
Share accommodations.  Plus it's so much more fun with friends.  Also many places have full kitchens so you can bring your own food, and since every place is skiable, walkable or gondola rideable you can easily stop for lunch and snacks right off the slopes.

There are options to redeem air miles for lift tickets, also if you are lucky enough to be in the 4th or 5th grade and attend school in Canada you can ski for free!  What?!  Don't mention this to my boys or we will be moving for two years.  Multi day ski passes get you access to evening skiing as well.  My goal next year, to ski after dinner...somehow that hot tub and cocktails have won thus far.  And if you fly Alaska into Kelowna (they have shuttles to Big White) you can ski for free same day with your boarding pass.  You can see more deals and packages here.

The Snow.
Besides the family focused nature of this resort and it's absolute majesty, I can't end this post without mention of the snow.  It's a dry light powder wonderfully named Champagne Powder.  Cheers.  How perfect is that?...and they receive an average of 25ft of it each year!  It's what ski dreams are made of.  If you are accustomed to Pacific Northwest snow, which can sometimes be affectionately referred to as cement, this snow is exactly opposite. 

You can't help but be your best skier self on these slopes.  And no matter where you roam on the mountain, there are runs to fit every ski level.  This is part of what makes skiing as a family so memorable, we aren't restricted to one novice chair at the base of the mountain, the entire terrain is our playground. 

Thank you for reading and happy friday!  You can see more of our Big White adventure in the highlights of my instagram.


Thank you to Big White Ski Resort for partnering with our family for this post.   


Rain Rain Go Away, But Actually Stay This One Time Please.

Today was the FIRST day back to school since a half day last Friday, the week of which we only actually had two days total of school, and - stay with me here folks - we are about to have 9 days off.  SO that means in 3 weeks we will have had 3.5days of school.  SO as rain started to fall today, I started to have heart palpitations thinking I saw snow flakes - turns out it was just flying off the truck in front of me on the freeway.

I love my kiddos, I love spending time with my boys.  It's just A LOT harder when there is a to-do list and agenda that was not accounted for when plans changed.

All this to say, as it poured rain today, and I breathed a sigh of relief, it's about time I share this raincoat.  I firmly believe fashion and function does exist, and there is definitely a place for function in fashion, especially in motherhood.  We schlep our crew around in ALL elements, so why not find a rain jacket that keeps you dry and that you feel great putting on.

Designer and Founder Wendy currently lives in Seattle, not much better place to be inspired by rain.  The water repellant fabric used for Feller Raincoats is made from traditional British waxed cotton fabric and made in the USA.  Feller also gives back to the Seattle Humane Society, a place that has become near and dear to my family as the newest furry member of our family, Gilligan, or as my son has decided Gilligen, has entered our life, rescued by the Humane Society.

raincoat - Feller c/o
see more outfit details here.

thank you for reading.  Do you think it should be Gilligan or Gilligen?

Happy Friday!


Photos by Sarah.


Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour

rosemary maple bourbon sour

well it was SUPPOSED to be posted "tomorrow" two days ago, stay with me - then we had two snow days.  So there you go.  Life.  And perhaps even more of a reason to put these on your cocktails to be made tomorrow list.

They are sort of a year round go-to...the maple screams fall.  The bourbon warms you in winter, and the bright fresh sour lemon gives you spring fever into summer refreshment.  It's all perfectly balanced for any time.

This recipe came from one of our favorite cocktail recipe books, Shake, you can find it in our shop Queen Anne Frame & Gift.  If you live in Seattle that is what you should do, come visit us.

Recipe makes 1 serving.  We just multiple for however many are sipping, and make in one big batch.

1 1/2 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice (please use fresh)
1/3 oz Maple Syrup
1 small sprig rosemary, more for garnish if you wish.

Smack the rosemary between palm of your hands.  Mix rosemary and all the above ingredients in a shaker with ice (you can simply use a mason jar).  Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds, pour into lowball glasses with more ice.  Garnish with Rosemary.


cheers to back to school tomorrow.

Thank you for reading

photos by Kristen


Tapestry Weaving, Bourbon Cocktails & Bacon Flights.

Sounds like a fabulous way to spend a winter afternoon am I right?

It's still January, barely, well ok when I started writing this post is was, so Happy February Y'all...and I'm still talking about what I want to make sure I do LOTS of in the next 11 months, or really just always.

Setting intentions, and one of my favorite things over the last year was gathering with girlfriends to create.  I want to do this more, I need to do this more.  It fills my soul and I love being creative in different ways.

This is why I love the Crafters Box subscription, they find the coolest crafts and gather everything needed to make it happen, including an inspirational instruction video, all you have to do is get a date on the calendar with your friends, gather the ingredients for your favorite cocktail, and in this case, add bacon...

maple bourbon sours

bacon flight

easy cheese plate

pumpkin bread

We kept our Cocktailing Crafternoon very simple this time...

Sally mixed up a brilliant winter cocktail, Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sours.  These are the right balance of sweet and sour with a solid foundation of good bourbon.  Best trick for any cocktail, add a sprig of any herb, immediately ups your drinking game style.  Most likely you have something growing in your yard that will do just the trick.  Stay tuned tomorrow, yes tomorrow for the recipe.

Erin had the brilliant idea of Bacon Flights.  Have you ever heard of this?  Basically pick your favorite, may I suggest Rosemary CandiedPraline and Bourbon Brown Sugar Maple, the fourth was a thick cut peppered bacon, simply serve them in mason jars with little menu tags.  The easiest and most popular dish at any gathering.

Of course no gathering is complete without a cheese plate, and an heirloom pumpkin bread rounded out our brunch.  It was divine.  I'm salivating now, and it's bedtime.  darnit.

Our craft was tapestry weaving, using the Pibione technique, an ancient practice kept alive by a group of artists on the island of Sardinia in Italy.  How cool is that?  This may be my favorite one yet.  The loom was handcrafted in studio in San Diego, and the incredible fibers we used were hand-dyed indigo, Merino Wool and even recycled water bottles.  This is why I'm so crazy about the Crafters Box.  Even if I happened upon the idea of Pibione tapestry weaving, finding all these amazing materials and the talented artists to instruct, it's really an incredible product. 

diy loom

We spent most of our time together assembling our looms.  The best part is that there is a part two to this project, so stay tuned for our finished projects.

Happy Friday.  Thank you for reading.

Photos by Kristen (that cute baby belly pictured above.)  Thank you to Sally for letting us use her wonderful space.